The "A Bag for Life" Campaign
Since 1 June 2016, the distribution and sale of single-use plastic carrier bags has been banned in the Principality. The aim of this initiative by the Prince's Government, at the instigation of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, is to greatly reduce the use of plastics in Monaco. The consequences of their dispersal in the environment, especially the marine environment, are disastrous. The number of waste microplastics in the Mediterranean is currently estimated at 250 billion, making it one of the most polluted seas.
Three months after the introduction of this regulation, Marie-Pierre Gramaglia, Minister of Public Works, the Environment and Urban Development, invited the press for a first assessment.
"The traders have supported the implementation of this scheme, and most of them have made arrangements to conform to the regulation. We thank them for that," the Minister stated.
Along with this ban, and to raise awareness of the issues among the Monegasque community, the Government has introduced an information campaign with the slogan:
"Un sac pour la vie"
"A bag for life"
This slogan has a two-fold message:
- a reusable bag, which therefore has a longer life;
- a bag made from a natural, biodegradable material.
Marie-Pierre Gramaglia announced that "As a practical way of implementing this initiative, the Government has decided to provide every home in the Principality with a reusable cloth bag, accompanied by an explanatory leaflet. These bags will be distributed by post in September."
This ban is part of a broader approach to promoting responsible trading. The Department of the Environment is steering this approach via a committee comprised of representatives of the Government, Monaco Union of Traders and Artisans, the City Hall and the Prince Albert II Foundation.
Since 2015, the Department of the Environment has met with more than 200 traders who use plastic bags. The information gathered focused on the type and use of plastic bags, the alternatives envisaged, and, more generally, the management of waste and recycling.
This study showed, in particular, that 95% of Monegasque traders consider that the protection of the environment is a subject of importance to them, or about which they are concerned, and 73% of traders felt that too many plastic bags were distributed.
The aim of this "responsible trading" approach is to encourage eco-friendly practices among traders and consumers in the Principality, targeting the reduction of waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Now, this support will continue, to prepare for the regulatory deadlines of January 2017 and January 2020.
- On 1 January 2017 there will be a ban on all other single-use bags for wrapping goods at the point of sale (for example the small bags provided for wrapping vegetables in the fresh produce section) that are not compostable and made of at least 30% of biosourced materials. This proportion will increase progressively, reaching 60% in 2025.
- On 1 January 2020, all disposable plastic cutlery will be banned.
The third stage consists in launching the "responsible trading" label, which is being developed in consultation with the traders.
A first draft of this label has been prepared. It aims to implement practical action relating to:
- increased waste sorting;
- reusing wrapping;
- extending the collection of glass bottles in catering establishments and drinks outlets in the Principality with a view to reusing or recycling these bottles.
See the link below for video of the "A bag for life" campaign:
Further Information: Department of the Environment
(+377) 98 98 83 41
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