Morocco is a leading country in the Middle East and North Africa region when it comes to environmental and sustainable development issues. The National Charter for the Environment and Sustainable Development, already since 2010, includes references to solid wastes management linking it to circular economy. The National Sustainable Development Strategy (SNDD) has identified circular economy as key for sustainable waste management, which has as a main objective the valorisation of waste and development of waste recovery and recycling sectors.

The EU funded Water and Environment Support (WES) project in the Southern Neighbourhood region will be providing support for the development of a Roadmap for the management of used PET bottles in Morocco, based on the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by developing a common vision among the sectors involved, leading hopefully to a framework agreement on EPR.  Upon the conclusion of this demanding task, the process and the results will serve as an example that can be replicated for other waste streams as well as in other countries of the Mediterranean region.

The activity will consider options such as eco-design of bottles, reusable alternatives, improved collection and recycling and will ensure the involvement of all players in the value chain, whether they are public or private and will take into account existing relevant initiatives and the informal waste sector.

During the kick-off meeting of the activity, Sandrine Beauchamp of the EU Delegation to Morocco stated that this initiative fits within the terms of a green pact which the EU and Morocco are currently finalising.  “The EU just made an agreement on its climate law in line with the EU Green Deal as we need to fight together against climate change and global warming. An appropriate energy transition will lead us to the transition towards a green economy and we have a longstanding partnership with Morocco when it comes to renewable energy. This new WES activity will build upon several initiatives financed by the EU for strengthening green economy transition. For the EU, transition towards a circular economy is one of the tools to fight pollution.”

Rachid Firadi, Director of Cooperation, Partnership and Communication of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment recalled the longstanding partnership with the EU on sustainable development initiatives which are now entering a new stage when it comes to initiatives towards a green economy. “Extended Producer Responsibility is very pertinent for Morocco” Mr. Firadi mentioned “as the country wants to advance further when it comes to recycling. With this activity we will highlight the responsibility of all actors in the value chain.”

The kick-off meeting, which was held online on the 28th of April 2021, was attended by officials of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment, the EU Delegation, representatives of the packaging industry, as well as by WES experts.