Nairobi, August 31: World struggling with the overuse of harmful plastic bags can follow the lead of the African nation Kenya. The latest nation to ban plastic has made it tougher than any other countries. Kenyan citizens involved in producing, selling or even using plastic bags could risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000 (£31,000). From Monday World’s toughest law to counter plastic pollution came into effect.
Whereas manufacturers argued that the ban could cost jobs, Environment minister of the country Judi Wakhungu said more jobs will be created from making bags from environment-friendly materials. UN agency feared that in 2050, oceans would be full of more plastics than fish. The plastic bag is largely harmful as it takes between 500 to 1,000 years to break down, also enter the human food chain through fish and other animals.
The huge step for the environment could affect the means of earning butter and bread of many citizens as the east African nation is a major exporter of plastic bags to the region. “The knock-on effects will be very severe,” Matonda spokesman for the Kenya Association of Manufacturer said. “It will even affect the women who sell vegetables in the market – how will their customers carry their shopping home?”
There are many who make their livings by recycling plastic from garbage dumps. Al Jazeera news interviewed Nancy who has been doing this for 30 years. She said this the only way to feed her family and now she is clueless about what to do.
Still, this step is praise worthy as throughout the country, roads and trees are often covered with discarded plastic bags — which end up blocking drains and choking wild and livestock animals. Aquatic life and animals are majorly affected by this pollution. Even countries like India and Britain are also under the threat of it.