The government introduced amendments to the law banning plastic bags. Moroccan consumption of the raw material used in manufacturing plastic bags dropped by 50 percent since 2015.
Rabat – The Government Council adopted Bill 57.18 amending and modifying Law 77.15 on the ban of plastic bags on Thursday.
Law 77.15 prohibits the manufacture, import, export, marketing, and use of plastic bags.
The new bill “aims to establish a solid and flexible legal arsenal for the disposal of plastic bags,” Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said at a press briefing after the weekly government council meeting.
The bill set new definitions for the raw plastic material and semi-finished plastic material used in bag-making. The bill set out new articles defining a legal framework for inspections and seizures, granting the relevant authorities new powers.
In addition, the bill introduced new articles to control manufacturers’ activity. Manufacturers will have to submit a declaration at the Ministry of Industry on the nature of their activity, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
The consumption of raw materials used in the manufacture of bags dropped by 35,000 tons (50 percent) between 2015 and 2018, said Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy Thursday in a presentation on plastic bags.
According to El Khalfi, the authorities recorded 4,389 offenses related to using plastic bags, seized 821 tons of prohibited plastic bags, and seized 107 tons of banned bags at border posts.
The courts made 757 judgments with fines of MAD 5 million, he added.
743,600 inspections conducted, 7,500 tons of plastic bags destroyed
The interior ministry carried out 739,000 inspections between July 2016 and December 2018, and the Ministry of Industry conducted 4,600 operations during the same period.
The authorities collected and destroyed 7,500 tons of plastic bags in accordance with the law, El Khalfi emphasized. The operation cost the government MAD 83 million.
Although Law 77.15 has been in effect for 2.5 years, plastic bags are still used in Morocco.
As one roams the streets of Morocco, its shops, and traditional souks, one notices that plastic bags are still used by grocery stores and street vendors in Morocco.
Plastic bags are, according to some, easy to use and merchants offer them for free, unlike alternatives which are considered expensive in reference to the purchasing power of Moroccan citizens.