“Há mar e mar” campaign
National law no. 69 of 2018 provided for an incentive system for the return of non-reusable plastic beverage containers as well as for glass, ferrous metals and aluminium containers. In 2019, a pilot incentive system was launched, and from January 2022, this type of system should become mandatory.
To prepare for this significant environmental breakthrough, national NGOs such as Sciaena, Zero and ANP started developing activities in 2019. They organised a national seminar, technical meetings with different stakeholders involved in the implementation of the EU single-use plastics directive, two workshops to coordinate with other NGOs working on plastics, and a plastic policy group.
In 2020, the NGOs met with government bodies to push for an ambitious implementation of the EU single-use plastics directive, as the coronavirus crisis was expected to delay its national implementation. In July, a dedicated awareness-raising campaign, Ha Mar e Mar, was launched, with an online petition (which has gathered 4,000 signatories to date), a Facebook page and a symbolic cleaning event involving several local NGOs as well as special ambassadors such as the Dutch partner organisation Plastic Soup Surfer and world circuit bodyboarder Joana Schenker. In November, the campaign called for wide participation in the national consultation on the draft text of the law, and for the Portuguese government to maintain the initial high level of ambition.
The campaign secured national media coverage, and the last version of the transposed national law included national targets for reusable packaging. The NGOs have also started to develop coalition work with international partners to secure similar ambition in Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy.