Four years jail or $40,000 fine: A strict law on banning plastic bag in Kenya
Kenya, a country located in Africa, brings in world’s toughest plastic bag ban. Officials say they want to target manufacturers and sellers first by making it illegal to produce, sell and use plastic bags.
This is the world’s toughest law with the intention of diminishing plastic pollution which implies that whoever is producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years or will be fined $40,000. And by doing so, this east African country has joined more than 40 different nations that have prohibited, or partly restricted or taxed single-use plastic bags. Those nations include China, France, Rwanda, and Italy.
Many bags float into the ocean, choking turtles, suffocating seabirds and filling the stomachs of dolphins and whales with waste until the point when they die of starvation. Habib El-Habr, a specialist on marine litter working with the UN environment program in Kenya said: “On the off chance that we proceed with like this, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish.”
El-Habr says plastic bags take between 500 to 1,000 years to diminish, plus enter the human body when consuming fish and different other animals. There is a slaughterhouse in Nairobi, where 20 bags were removed from the stomachs of cows which were bound for human consumption. Couty vet Mbuthi Kinyanjui, seeing men in bloodied white uniforms drench plastic bags from the stomachs of cow remains, said, “It’s almost on a daily basis and this is something we didn’t get 10 years ago.”
After three attempts over 10 years, Kenya finally passes the ban, but everyone doesn’t like it. This law enables police to go after anyone who is carrying a plastic bag. But it said by Kenya’s environment minister, Judy Wakhungu that enforcement would first be directed at producers and suppliers.
Now, Kenya is a noteworthy major exporter of plastic bags to the region so it would lead to the closing of 176 manufacturers and loss of 60,000 jobs. Samuel Matonda, a representative for the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, said, “The thump on impacts will be exceptionally extreme. It will also strike on the ladies who sell vegetables in the market – by what means will their customer carry their shopping home?” Big Kenyan general store chains like France’s Carrefour and Nakumatt have already begun offering customers cloth bags as choices.
A huge step has been taken by the government for the welfare of their nation. This will not only lead to a plastic pollution-free future but also help in the growth of a healthy life. Let us all say NO to plastics and carry our world to a better future.
Be the Avengers, save the world. Not by fighting but by avoiding the plastic bags.