The ban on single-use plastics in Monaco took effect at the beginning of this year. Cotton swabs, plastic cups, plastic cutlery and disposable plastic plates are joining single-use plastic bags and plastic straws on the list of undesirable objects. The new law is part of the Principality’s efforts to ban all single-use plastics by 2030 protecting the environment and more specifically marine fauna.

 

Plastic-free initiatives

The Monégasque government introduced a “Monaco Waste Prevention and Management Plan” in 2016 and started implementing its “Zero single-use plastic waste by 2030” policy with an initial  ban on disposable plastic bags followed by a ban on plastic straws and sticks. Now the time has come for other single-use plastic items such as cups, cutlery and plates often found in shops and restaurants.

By expanding the ban on single-use plastics, the government also plans to contribute to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacturing, transportation and disposal of plastics. The ambitious objective is in line with EU policies and are aligned with the similar ban on single-use plastics in France.

 

Biodiversity protection

This is obvious in view of the impact that plastics have and the danger the pose to the environment, in particular for marine fauna, knowing that the vast majority of plastic micro-waste is discharged into the sea, said Marie-Pierre Gramaglia, Minister for Equipment, the Environment and Town Planning.0

Across the entire Mediterranean Sea, there is more than 250 billion micro-plastic waste while almost 1,800 billion pieces of plastic waste are polluting the oceans.

 

Support for restaurants

Shopkeepers and restaurant owners, who often resort to plastic items for takeaway lunches and doggie bags, will feel the biggest impact of the new policy. The government therefore provides specific support such as helping businesses find alternatives to single-use plastic and attributing “Commerce Engagé” and “Restaurant Engagé” labels. These certifications are attributed to shop-owners and restaurateurs who focus on reducing disposable tableware and packaging, cutting down food waste, and opt for local and ethical sourcing.