28 Feb 2019
Casablanca, Morocco
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of waste coming from single-use plastic alone, Morocco abandoned all use of it making it one of the first countries in Africa to pass a correlated law. But despite the huge cut-down on plastic bag use, there is always a parallel, informal market for plastic bags.

For the purpose research and figuring out the reasons behind adopting plastic bags in some capacity, SwitchMed funded an association called Zero Zbel  to conduct an awareness campaign in Moroccan markets, addressing both consumers and shopkeepers.

The campaign which they named Kofa Mon Amour (“My Beloved Basket”), included a large survey to find out about shopping habits and constraints to phase out plastic bags.

Zero Zbel members covered 8 markets in the cities of Casablanca, Agadir and Tetouan and interviewed 235 people who received a reusable bag as reward, through explanatory fact-sheets, t-shirts and alternatives to single-use plastic bags.

The survey came back with 49% of respondents believing the consumption of plastic bags has remained the same or increased, while 60% of merchants say that 80% of their customers demand plastic bags.

“Some people refuse to bring reusable bags because it is not practical, and unless they find them on the spot at a reasonable price, they use plastic bags” says Jamal Kamali from Zero Zbel.

Additionally, the price of plastic bags has increased since the law was introduced. “Shopkeepers are directly impacted by the misapplication of the law, because plastic bags are more expensive to buy and are still distributed to customers for free,” Kamali adds.

The survey then was followed by communicating the ensuing concerns to the Ministry of Industry. “The demand for alternative products has increased considerably and the supply by businesses has kept pace,” said the department of Moulay Hafid Elalamy in a statement. As a result, the ministry is working on a legal text to define the minimum requirements for the bags.

“We are working on a revision of the law so that the process of banning plastic bags can be smoother and harder. It’s coming soon,” the ministry announced.

And thanks to SwitchMed, Zero Zbel now provides alternatives coupled with training aided by SwitchMed itself.

 

Learn more about Zero Zbel through their Facebook page.

Zero Zbel Resource efficiency & sustainable waste management
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