Rabat - Moroccans across the country are protesting the importation of 2,500 tons of Italian garbage that arrived in Casablanca last week. The trash will be destroyed in a cement plant in the Casablanca area.
Rabat – Moroccans across the country are protesting the importation of 2,500 tons of Italian garbage that arrived in Casablanca last week. The trash will be destroyed in a cement plant in the Casablanca area.
The waste, which is largely comprised of plastic and rubber, comes from Campania, a region of Italy that includes Naples. Campania has long struggled to deal with their waste. According to Hesspress, nearly five million tons of garbage have accumulated in the region. Twenty years ago, Campania attempted to dispose of waste buildup by burning it. However, the waste was toxic, and the incineration process caused environmental damage. To deal with the increasingly pressing waste problem, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has allocated 118 million euros to decrease the amount of trash in the region.
Hespress reports that this shipment to Morocco may include trash with similar toxic properties to the waste that Campania attempted to burn twenty years ago.
However, in a communique he read to the press following the government weekly meeting, Mustapha Khalfi, Minister of Communication and government spokesman, stated that the waste is not toxic and that a number of European countries, including Italy, are burning similar materials.
Moroccans across the country have protested this development. An online petition seeking to “mobilize to prevent the burning of such waste and prevent degradation of the agricultural soil, emergence of chronic diseases, and permanent birth defects, especially in the el-Jadida region” has received almost 18,000 signatures.
Morocco has focused extensively on sustainability projects and environmental causes in recent years. The government’s decision to import the potentially harmful trash comes as a surprise to many, especially when contrasted with its current controversial push to ban plastic bags before the COP22 conference.