National plans for waste management and marine litter / Support from UN Environment and “SwitchMed” programme
The government of Jordan is aiming to raise awareness for saving the seas and oceans from pollution, which poses a danger to marine life that can mistake plastic litter for food. In November 2017, a message made from plastics waste was set onto Jordan’s Dead Sea – “One Dead Sea Is Enough” – to launch the country’s initiative to tackle marine litter. Jordan's former environment minister Yaseen Khayyat said at the launch, “We are sending a message from the Dead Sea, from the lowest point on Earth, to the living people.”

“Jordan currently produces 3m t of waste annually. Of this, 17% is plastic waste [about 510,000 t], and there are about 3 bn plastic bags,” said Jordanian environment minister Naif Alfayez. He said the country has made waste management and marine litter national environmental priorities. To this end, several initiatives are being implemented to bring about sustainable changes.

Under the EU-funded “SwitchMed” project ( and with the support of UN Environment Programme (UNEP, Nairobi / Kenya;, Jordan has developed a national sustainable consumption and production action plan, based on the country’s priorities for green economic growth and a circular economy. Among the results of the Jordanian action plan are two regulations. One is a bylaw on plastic bags already put into place by the government, and the second is a draft law on waste management that is currently before the parliament.

The biodegradable plastic shopping bags bylaw aims to minimise the production, import and circulation of small plastic carrier bags, thereby reducing their impact on the environment. The bylaw requires manufacturers to provide biodegradable plastic bags.

The waste management framework law under consideration aims to regulate the waste management sector, reduce pollution and promote recycling as well as safe treatment and disposal of waste. The law would define the roles and tasks of all the authorities involved in waste management, and provide a legal umbrella for sustainable investments in the waste sector.
28.03.2018 [239347-0]
Published on 28.03.2018

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