One of the most widespread waste in our oceans and seas are plastic bags. Around 100 billion plastic bags are produced per year and are placed in the market only in the European Union. In Mediterranean Sea an estimated 25 million plastic bags pollute every 1,000 kilometres of coast, more than 1 trillion for 46000 kilometres of the Mediterranean Sea per year. The percentage is 56% of the total beached waste and 83% of floating litter.
Prevention is the most important action.
The Italian legislation has permitted to acquire best performances in environmental and economical perspectives. After five years of ban of plastic carrier bags below 100 micron consumption of PE has been reduced by 55%, from more than 200.000 tons\a to 90.000 tons\a with a positive transition to compostable carrier bags that are vital for develop and improve the separate collection of food waste.
Other Mediterranean countries are in the same direction as France and Morocco with a total ban of plastic bags. Other countries are introducing a tax on single use plastic bags as Croatia, Malta, Israel and some municipality or district of Spain, Greece and Turkey. Tunisia has banned non-biodegradable plastic bags in large-chain supermarkets. But it is still not enough.
Legambiente ONLUS commits to promote 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 to all other Mediterranean countries.
Passing through the net of volunteers and other associations, Legambiente, Kyoto club and Environmental Alliance for the Mediterranean aim to address the Mediterranean governments collecting at first the support of the other Mediterranean association and other stakeholder to the plastic bags ban proposed.
Updates to voluntary commitment
Decrease of plastics bag findings during beach litter monitoring
Increase the monitoring activities with particular focus on plastic bags beached
Collection of signed support from the Legambientes contact network of Mediterranean countries associations and structure and volunteers
Adoption of plastic bags ban in all the Mediterranean countries