Plastic is the most spread out garbage material infesting the Mediterranean Sea, according to Unep (United Nations Environment Programme) and Legambiente’s monitoring activities. Legambiente’s yearly campaign Clean Up The Med involves eight coastal countries (Algeria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Tunisia) to collect garbage from the beaches and the sea, turning their attention to plastic bags, that is the 16% of located garbage.(have a look at Legambiente’s marine litter for reference). Further international surveys refer that 25 millions of bags were found every 1000 kilometers.
Therefore, during the 22th Marrakech Climate Change Conference Legambiente made an appeal, joined by Kyoto Club and Alleanza per un Mediterraneo sostenibile, in order to coordinate a ban on plastic carrier bags below 100 microns except bags for primary transport (i.e. fisheries) and biodegradable and compostable certified EN 13432 or ISO 14855.
The ban had already came into effect in Italy, France and Morocco – which introduced it this year among its environmental policies in view of the Climate Change Conference.
Nowadays in Europe 100 billion plastic carrier bags a year are used, resulting in consuming 190 million tons of oil. By banning plastic bags their use would be significantly reduced, as shown by the stats related to Italy.
Legambiente, Kyoto Club and Alleanza per un Mediterraneo Sostenibile did not only demand the ban of plastic carrier bags, but also proposed to define a plan to reduce and recycle plastic in other fields, such as cosmetics and non-biodegradable cotton buds, and an international campaign to increase recycling.