Wednesday, 26 October 2016

In the Bag

Shopping in Morocco has always meant loads of cheap bin-liner like black plastic shopping bags. once discarded they get everywhere;stuck in trees and shrubs, and blown around in the wind, avoiding them has marred many a good photo. We have been advocating they follow the Welsh and ban them for years.
Well on 6th July they did. This wasn't the British half-hearted ban that can be got round by donating 5p to charity though; it is the true fundamentalist version. There are harsh fines on any shop-keeper supplying a bag and a ban on imports. Shops sell "bags for life" and thick deluxe bags you pay 10p for in Tesco and cost 1 DH (8p) here.  But even better they have banned those silly thin plastic bags you put your produce in to be weighed and which I could never open. When I go to the hanut to buy rice or choose my veg in Marjane I now get paper bags. Clearly we Welsh should now follow their example.
This "back to the 50s" approach could also apply to bottles. Marjane and the major supermarkets have aisle after aisle of 1.5l plastic bottles of branded drinks, but, when you go to the local hanut they still sell some local brands in glass bottles which bear a deposit and can be returned to be re-used. This was the system I remember from my childhood before Coke conquered the world and carbonated drinks were made locally with flavours such as Dandelion and Burdock and Saspirilla and Cream Soda as well as ~Orange and Lemonades. Local kids would earn a few pennies pocket money by going door to door with a crate and collecting bottles that people were too lazy to take back themselves.It was a particularly popular strategy at this time of year ahead of bonfire night as an alternative to "penny for the guy". That way they could hit each house twice. Re-using is always preferable to recycling and perhaps we should return to this too.
Morocco generally is trying to clean up as part of its tourist strategy. Ifrane, unsurprisingly has already achieved international clean town status and they are now working on Marrakech achieving it too.

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