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100 million plastic bags discarded into Jordan’s environment every year — Environment Ministry

By Rana Tayseer - Aug 23,2023 - Last updated at Aug 23,2023

Representative image (Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Umesh R. Desai)


AMMAN ­— Each Jordanian citizen on average consumes around 500 plastic bags per year, with approximately 100 million plastic bags discarded into the Jordanian environment yearly.

This increases the total annual plastic waste volume by 17 per cent, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Environment Mohammad Khashashneh said in recent press remarks.

The minister explained that Jordan suffers from excessive use of plastic and that plastic bags constitute an additional burden on the environment, referring to a study that revealed that the spread of these bags resulted in the death of 2,200 head of livestock.

Khashashneh also warned that burning plastic in haphazard ways causes health damage to individuals.

Regarding measures to reduce plastic pollution in Jordan, Khashashneh stated that the ministry has distributed 50,000 reusable bags to encourage a substitution culture, reducing plastic’s spread in the environment. 

The ministry also distributed seven machines which consumers can use to exchange plastic containers for a material return that can be used for shopping. 

Furthermore, the ministry will continue to work on international programmes aimed at enhancing the circular and green economy. 

Representative of the plastic sector in the Jordan Chamber of Industry, Alaa Abu Khazneh, said that “plastic is an easy material to monitor and collect from the environment”. 

He added that replacing the plastic industry can lead to the destruction of 80 existing factories that manufacture plastic bags. 

He noted that the plastic bags are not the core of the problem, but rather the ways citizens dispose of them, as well as the absence of control over open landfills. 

Abu Khazneh called for tighter control and penalties for any violations that negatively affect the Jordanian environment.  

Director of Awraq Organisation for Environmental Development Zina Hamdan told The Jordan Times on Tuesday that “plastic bags have left an indelible mark on our environment and climate”.

Hamdan stressed the critical need for a comprehensive approach to raise collective environmental consciousness.

She emphasised that the message of adopting environmentally friendly bags as a viable alternative to conventional ones must resonate through the avenues of traditional, modern and social media.

Hamdan shed light on the “Green Bag” campaign, Awraq’s keystone environmental development initiative which she spearheads in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, international partners, state institutions and civil society organisations.

She noted that this endeavour has already successfully distributed 30,000 eco-conscious bags to shoppers in key commercial hubs throughout Amman, reflecting a shared commitment to sustainability.

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