Some studies suggest that Jordanians use 3 billion plastic bags annually, and only 20 percent of these bags find their way to the landfill. It is obvious that a transition away from Single-Use Plastics is urgently needed.

The Ministry of Environment of Jordan issued in 2020, in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and other key stakeholders, the Waste Sector Green Growth National Action Plan (Waste GG-NAP 2021-2025) based on Jordan’s Green Growth Vision: economic growth which is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. The proper implementation of the Action Plan requires the development of concrete initiatives to support circular economy which could  also promote sound waste management practices in the country.

The EU funded Water and Environment Support (WES) project in the ENI Southern Neighbourhood has just launched a technical assistance activity to support Jordan to implement its green and circular economy agenda and transition away from Single-Use Plastics (SUPs) at household and commercial levels in a strategic and systematic way. It will assist the Ministry of Environment by developing a joint public-private partnership Roadmap.  A team of international and national experts will provide technical support based on experiences from good practices and relevant policy measures for curbing SUPs, paving the way for their gradual phase-out.

WES Team Leader Professor Michael Scoullos mentioned during the kick-off meeting of this activity, which was held online on the 26th of April, that WES has designed this activity “twinned” with another one with emphasis on Green Banking promoting an integrated approach in the planning of key environmental strategies in Jordan. “We are looking forward to assisting Jordan in bringing together issues of SUPs and sustainable ways of production of alternatives, with private-public partnerships and green investment as a tangible way to implement circular economy. We want to contribute to moving one step further towards the development of more practical methods and appropriate regulations supporting this approach.”

Omar Abu Eid, representative of the EU Delegation to Jordan, stated that the EU Green Deal is now the main policy shaping all future EU support and engagement. “We want to work together on this also with our partners in Jordan.  We are keen to ensure a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. There is a great need to build on sustaining our resources and to work on sustainable development. In this view, the issue of waste management and Single-Use Plastics is really important.”.

Dr. Mohamed Al Kashashneh, Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and WES Focal point mentioned during the meeting that Jordan already taken some measures for SUPs. “However, this is not ideal yet. We are considering various other measures that can be taken up in the new Roadmap.” Dr. Kashashneh added that the Ministry of Environment recognizes the significance of the EU Green Deal and that the Ministry is very grateful for the continuous support of the European Union.