It has been almost a year since Morocco formally prohibited the manufacture, import, export, sale and use of plastic bags. The law was published in the Official Bulletin of December 14th 2015 and came into force in 2016 with a national campaign entitled Zero Mika - No Plastic
Zero Mika applied to all plastic bags except those for agricultural and industrial sectors as well as household waste collection. Isothermal bags and those intended for refrigeration and freezing were also exempt.
Despite scepticism in some quarters, the result exceeded expectations. Within a week of the ban being announced, shoppers had taken to carrying basket and using paper bags instead of plastic. Since that time there has been general acceptance of the policy.
Sadly, the plastic bag ban has resulted in a blackmarket in plastic bags with Moroccan authorities seizing more than 420 tonnes of plastic bags in the year since the entry into force of a law prohibiting their use, According to the Ministry of the Interior they have also intercepted more than 421 tonnes of plastic bags, 70 manufacturing machines, 16 vehicles and arrested 55 people.
With the legislation dubbed "zero mika", or zero plastic in Arabic, Morocco became one of the first countries in Africa to impose a total ban on plastic bags, along with Rwanda.
Since the law took effect, the authorities have been strict to ensure its application, especially in shops and supermarkets in larger cities and towns. The government has described as "encouraging" the results of the ban, saying it had virtually eradicated the use of plastic bags in the country.
|Moroccans have instead taken to using fabric bags|
The ministry of industry has set up a 20 million euro ($21.8 million) fund to help companies affected by the law.
The government has described as "encouraging" the results of the ban, saying it had virtually eradicated the use of plastic bags in the country.