A project in Morocco to boost recycling levels of food-grade plastic packaging and bottles kicks off 20 March. Called Mossup - Moroccan Supermarkets tackling Single Use Plastic - the project is being implemented by the Searious Business, a Dutch social enterprise focussed on preventing plastic pollution, at two supermarket chains in Morocco, Mariane and Carrefour.
Morocco generates more than 1 million tons of plastic every year. Aimed at addressing the issue of plastic pollution in Morocco, the project will focus on effecting small changes in shoppers’ habits over a pilot period of three months that will ultimately lead to significant results.
Plastic bottles and deli-counter food containers can be found in nearly every customer’s shopping basket. By tackling plastic waste from these two sources, the supermarket chains aim to reduce plastic pollution and the impact on the environment.
Two strategies are being trialled. The first consists of introducing a bottle-to-bottle recycling scheme. Supermarket customers will be invited to return PET plastic bottles to a dedicated collection point in participating stores. For each bottle returned, the customer will receive a voucher or loyalty-card points which are redeemable in the store. The bottles are recycled into food grade plastic for use in new bottles. If successful, this approach could be further upscaled. Estimates have projected that over 26 million bottles could be collected every year in the city of Rabat alone, saving some 790 tonnes of CO2 and avoiding 530 tonnes of plastic waste.
A second approach targets the reduction of single-use plastic food containers by replacing these with a reusable alternative. Deli-counter customers will be encouraged to opt for a reusable container. They will be required to pay a small deposit, which is repaid on returning the container to store. The reusable containers will then be washed and reused. If widely implemented, the city of Rabat alone could avoid a huge 5000 tonnes of plastic waste and save 14,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.