In a bid to tackle environmental woes, Kenya becomes the latest African country that is going to ban the manufacture and import of all plastics bags for both commercial and household use.
The new measures will take effect after six months from the date of the notice that was issued in a gazette on February 28. Kenya’s Environment Minister Judi W. Wakhungu had given the order.
Kenya joins the list of other African nations — Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mauritania and Malawi — who have also adopted the ban on plastic.
Plastic shopping bags are posing a major hindrance to the urban waste disposal system in the country, especially in the capital city of Nairobi as dumping grounds are filled with towering plastic piles.
According to a statement by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), more than 100 million plastic bags are given out by the supermarkets in Kenya.
UNEP added that the plastic bags have long been identified as one of the leading causes of environmental damage and health problems — killing birds, fish and other animals that mistake them for food. They also damage agricultural land, pollute tourist sites and provide breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue fever.
“Kenya is taking decisive action to remove an ugly stain on its outstanding natural beauty,” said Erik Solheim, the U.N. program’s executive director.
UNEP also added that plastic bags contribute to the 8 million tonnes of plastic that gets leaked into the ocean and seas every year. At current rates, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.
The Logical Indian applauds Kenya’s resolution to ban plastic as the world is reeling under severe environmental challenges which only we can find a solution to. While at this moment, a total ban on plastic is improbable but slowly many cities and countries across the world is are trying to inculcate this policy.