According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), half of all plastics produced worldwide, are designed to be used just once and then thrown away. These so-called Single-Use Plastics (SUPs), such as plastic bags, food and beverage packaging, etc., pose severe risks to marine ecosystems and biodiversity with implications for human wellbeing and livelihoods.

Since March 2022, the EU funded “Water and Environment Support (WES) in the ENI Neighbourhood South Region” project has been providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Environment (MoE) of Lebanon with the common goal of reducing the impact and leakage of SUPs into the environment and specifically from selected on-the-go food and beverage SUPs. At the same time, similar activities of the EU funded “Marine Litter MED II” project in Lebanon are focusing on single-use plastic bags.

Since the projects are working in synergy and complementarity and address the same key stakeholders, they joined forces and co-organised with the Ministry of Environment of Lebanon, a Consultation Meeting to present and discuss the respective baseline reports from the two projects. The Consultation took place on the 17th of November 2022, in Beirut, at the premises of the MoE.

The fruitful discussions between key stakeholders provided valuable insights and feedback that will be used to finalise the reports and help define potential policy measures to be implemented in Lebanon for the targeted SUPs. The participants were from departments of ministries such as the Ministry of Environment (MoE), Ministry of Industry (MoI), Association of Lebanese Industrials (ALI), UNDP, UN Habitat, World Bank, Consulting Firms and NGOs.

At the occasion of this meeting, an exhibition was commissioned to Recycle Lebanon in order to showcase the type of alternatives already available in Lebanon.

The immediate next step is the development of two Roadmaps to tackle these SUPs in Lebanon: one for selected on-the-go food and beverage packaging SUPs (under WES) and one for SUP bags (under Marine Litter Med II).

Make sure to stay tuned for more on SUPs in Lebanon from the WES project.