Ban on plastic bags

- The demand for substitute products is constantly increasing - 117.8 million dirhams committed to support the sector

Two years after the adoption of law 77-15, plastic bags are permanently banned from the medium and large retails outlets and convenience stores, which now use practical alternatives designed and calibrated to meet their specific needs.

In fact, the demand for alternative products has increased considerably and the supply of businesses has kept pace. The production of non-woven bags increased from 1.8 to 3.2 billion bags and that of woven bags from 1 to 1.2 billion bags during the second year of the implementation of the law.

The program to support the conversion of affected companies benefited 25 eligible companies out of 29 candidates with overall awards amounting to 65.4 million dirhams. This allowed not only the retention of impacted jobs but also led to the creation of 600 new positions. 19 other companies benefited from the support of the Imtiaz Program for the production of alternative solutions. The total amount allocated to the latter is of 52.4 million dirhams.

However, the use of prohibited bags persists in the souks and the itinerant and unorganized trade which sources from illegal and smuggling networks. During the 682,467 control activities carried out, 89.9 tons of bags were seized at border posts and 757 tons from secret units and workshops. 3,826 offences were recorded in citations submitted to the Royal Prosecutor, and 757 sentences were pronounced with fines totalling 5 million dirhams.

To strengthen control, the regulations in force have been expanded. The licensing of polyethylene imports, a raw material used to produce prohibited bags, significantly reduced the volume of imports. 28,495 tonnes were imported from January to May 2018 compared to 41,368 tonnes during the same period of 2017, representing a reduction of 31%. The use of alternative raw materials was also noted during the checks carried out, which revealed the use of plastic recovered from landfills by clandestine units, as well as highly toxic and health-damaging raw materials for the production of packaging of various industrial products.

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