German development agency GIZ, Swiss multinational manufacturer LafargeHolcim, and international waste management company Geocycle have launched an environmental initiative “Ecocean.”
Rabat – The Ecocean initiative aims to reduce the quantity of plastic waste in Morocco’s oceans and improve waste management initiatives in the area of Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima.
The project will be carried out in phases over a three year period until 2020. It will involve a variety of stakeholders in the region, including public and private bodies that operate in environmental conservation and waste management.
The three organizations behind the project have already launched a study that analyzes the region’s plastic waste situation, as well as social, environmental, and economic impacts of waste in the area. The study identified 32 key target locations where plastic waste enters the ocean.
Plastic waste management is a broader regional concern. A 2019 report released by World Wide Nature Fund (WWF) finds 6.6 million tonnes of plastic waste is mismanaged yearly around the Mediterranean. It notes 247 billion pieces of plastic are estimated to be floating in the Mediterranean.
Ecocean will target waste management, a practice which is integral to preventing plastic from finding its way into the oceans.
The WWF report draws attention to Morocco’s waste dumping figures. The report finds an estimated 2.8 million tonnes of waste is openly dumped in uncontrolled sites around the Mediterranean every year.
While Egypt and Turkey are the two largest sources of open dumping by total volume, WWF identifies Morocco as “rank[ing] high when looking at the total waste openly dumped per capita.”