About 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually worldwide of which only 5% are recycled. In 1997, the discovery of the 7th plastic continent in the North Pacific Ocean by the American sailor Charles Moore, alerted the world about the ecological consequences, although the plastic annual global production continues to grow. Centuries are nevertheless required to degrade this material, which is strongly integrated into our daily lives and will soon seep into our food chain. In fact, following to its fragmentation, plastic disintegrates into micro plastics, polluting over 88% of the oceans surfaces and providing a substrate for pathogenic microorganisms as well as for persistent organic pollutants such as pesticides, phthalates or polychlorinated biphenyls called PCBs. Technological solutions are starting to emerge, for converting plastic to oil (the Japanese company called Blest), developing alternative materials of plastic (bio plastic of Shrilk with the characteristics of arthropod cuticles) and the clean-up of the 7th continent (The Ocean Cleanup Project).

Plastic waste in Aqaba:

Regulatory measures regarding plastics and more particularly, plastics bags are being introduced in different countries, particularly in Jordan, where tourism is an important economic pillar disadvantaged by a strong visual pollution. More than 30 million bags are littered each year across the country, while 3 billion plastic bags are getting used annually. These numbers correspond to an average consumption of 1.4 plastic bag/person/day according to estimates by the Jordanian Ministry of Environment (the UNESCO and the United Nations in Jordan websites).

Therefore, and as part of the MED-3R, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), Jordan, intends to change the existing pattern of plastic bags' consumption and disposal. It has developed a preventive waste and plastic bags management plan for Aqaba entitled APreWaM (Aqaba Preventive Solid Waste Management). This management plan is based on the assessment of the current situation and it sets out the appropriate actions, in order to reduce plastic bags consumption in the City.

Its implementation comprises awareness actions among the local community (consumers and retail stores), replacement of disposable plastic bags with reusable bags at mass-merchandisers and logistical support to rag-pickers and to nongovernmental organizations such as the Green Key (or the environmental police).

Additionally, ASEZA is investigating the legal preparedness to adopt a “Plastic bag free municipality“ and the potential feasibility to recycle this type of waste.

Different types of so-called ecological bags (fragmentable, biodegradable, compostable or bio-oxodegradable bags, etc.) are marketed all over the world. Some are designed from natural compounds (such as of corn flour, potato flour, sugar cane flour or even chicken feathers), or synthetic (such as of polyethylene and polyalkene). Improper treatment of these various types of bags could be counterproductive to the original purpose for which they were conceived and could thus increase their polluting effect. However, prevention of using or reusing bags would be the most effective to minimize the damage caused by such waste.

Plastic waste in Genoa:

In Genoa the fight against plastic waste is expressed by the implementation of an initiative entitled “Reuse”.It is an informative approach, developed by the Genoese partners of the MED-3R project, aiming to give a second life to plastic waste, through cultural and artistic processes.

Extending over a year between November 2014 and October 2015, Reuse has been divided into four sections: “Palazzo Verde”, “Basamenti’’, ‘’Shot’’ and ‘’Plastic Street’’ comprising multiple events such as workshops, art competitions, exhibitions, games and other events. All participants (private individuals, amateurs and professionals artists) had the possibility to recover the needed material for the creation of utilitarian objects or artistic works, during visits of regional recycling centres organized by the Municipality.


La Republica.it - 26/06/2014
La Republica.it - 29/11/2014

Plastic waste in Nice:

Jointly to the pilot project "Reuse", another exhibition on the outcome of waste was organized between April and June 2015, at “la Maison de l’Environnement” in Nice. Thus, exchange of artistic works, mutual receptions of exhibitors and participants as well as academic workshops by videoconferences, have been carried out between Nice Cote d’Azur Metropole and the city of Genoa.

Genoese workart at La Maison de l'Environnement in Nice.

Exhibition at la Maison de l'Environnement in Nice.

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