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Zero Waste Goals: Monaco Bans Single-use Cups and Containers

The Principality is taking its zero waste goals one step further with new bans on single-use plastics, which came into effect on 1 June 2021. The new ban includes single-use plastic and styrofoam plates, cups and take-out containers.

Under the impetus of Prince Albert II, Monaco’s zero-waste policy began in 2016 with a ban on single-use plastic bags. In 2019 the policy was extended to include the elimination of plastic straws and stirrers, and in 2020 the discontinuation of single-use plastic cups, cutlery and plates began. The releasing of balloons and lanterns (which account for a large amount of marine litter and are a danger to wildlife) was also banned in March 2020. Monaco aims to ban all single-use plastics by 2030.

According to the new zero waste policy, “The consumer has the right to be served in a clean and reusable container. Waste from economic activities is subject to better traceability with the establishment of a waste register.”

The following guidelines and bans on plastic products, which generate harmful waste especially at sea, were recently published by the Princely Government.

As of June 1:

The new series of bans currently include:

-Disposable plastic tableware: all plastic plates (even those with only a plastic coating), steak sticks, styrofoam take-out containers, lids and tops for coffee cups and ice cream cups.

-Other plastic products: confetti, balloon rods and all products made from oxo-degradable plastics.

-Catering: ban on meals which offer a reduced price on drinks packaged in single-use containers (cans, plastic or glass bottles, etc.)

As of 1 January 2022:

The new series of bans will include:

-Plastic toys offered on children’s menus

-Non-biodegradable plastic tea or herbal tea bags

-Plastic packaging on certain fresh, unprocessed fruits & vegetables

-Non-compostable plastic labels and stickers on fruits and vegetables

-Catering: disposable cutlery is chargeable, especially in the context of take-away sales. To promote Zero Waste lunches, employers must make reusable crockery available at the workplace.

As of 1 January 2023:

-Catering: ban on the use of disposable crockery when the meal is eaten on site. The printing of receipts, credit cards receipts or vouchers will be made upon request only.

As of 1 January 2024:

The new set of bans on single-use plastic tableware includes:

-Boxes, salad bowls, meal trays, sandwich bags.

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