Plastic Bags Ban Applauded In Kenya
Many Kenyans have continued to applaud the move by the government to ban plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging terming it as a great move to curb the plastic bag menace.
In August 2017, the Kenyan government banned importation and manufacturing of plastic bags as a way of taking care of the environment.
Plastic was the most common packaging material used Kenya. Whenever you went for shopping there was a likelihood that whatever you buy will be packed in plastic bag. However, today things have charged and Kenyan have adapted new ways of packaging hence making the environment clean.
Statistics indicated that over 24 million plastic bags were used monthly half of which ended up in the solid mainstream.
In addition, the United Nations Environment estimated that 100 Million plastic bags were handed out in Kenya every year by supermarkets alone. The plastic bags were then poorly disposed on the roadsides, in trenches and illegal dumping sites which had become a norm in the country.
‘’Plastic bags have been identified as a major cause of environmental damage and health problems. They kill birds, fish and other animals that mistake them for food, damage agricultural land, pollute tourist sites and provide breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry malaria.’’
Kenya has inspired more countries to join in the ban of plastic bags which have so far caused great environmental pollution. South Africa, Chile, Oman and Sri Lanka want to follow in Kenya’s footsteps.
During a world UN Environmental assembly in Nairobi, Kenya shared how it’s implementing her ban on plastic bags. Former Kenyan Minister for Environment Judy Wakhungu shared to delegates who were in Nairobi for the UN environmental assembly how the county had to convince various stakeholders on the importanc of banning plastic bags which have caused a lot of environmental degredation.
“For too long we have treated the oceans as a bottomless dumping ground for plastics, sewage and other waste” said Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environmental programme during the united Nations Environmental assembly in Nairobi.
Nearly 40 countries from Kenya to Canada and from Indonesia to Brazil have joined the #cleansea campaign, which is aiming at countering the deluge of plastic trash that are degrading oceans.
In Africa, plastic bags have been fully banned in Kenya and Rwanda. Rwanda was the first country to ban usage of plastic bags. Kenya banned plastic bags in August 2017 and is now contemplating action on plastic bottles.