Kenya is the latest country to ban single-use plastic bags.
The Kenyan plastic bag ban is finally here
After three attempts over the past 10 years, Kenya has now succesfully passed a law banning single-use plastic bags.
It may have taken a while, but Kenya has finally installed the long awaited plastic bag ban.
The ban entails that manufacturers and suppliers of plastic bags risk a $40.000 fine or a penalty of four years of imprisonment. Tough measures indeed.
But these harsh penalties aren’t just for manufacturers and suppliers; people merely using a plastic bag risk the same punishment. However, Kenya’s environment minister, Judy Wakhungu said enforcement would initially only be directed at manufacturers and suppliers.
Source: The Guardian
It is estimated that Kenyans use (used!) about 24 million plastic bags a month, which translated to 288 million plastic bags a year. With these numbers eliminated, the effect of the ban on the environment will be profound.
And it’s an effect that is desperately needed, as globally plastic bags are still manufactured on a mass scale, and when they’re manufactured, they pollute. Here are some of the ugly numbers:
- Worldwide, 1 trillion bags are used annually.
- China consumes 3 billion plastic bags daily.
- Worldwide, 1 million plastic bags are used every minute.
- 46,000 pieces of plastic are floating in every square mile of ocean.
- 10% of plastic ends up in the ocean every year.
If these numbers scare you, let the other side of the coin impress you: after implementing a small fee for plastic bags in shops (so no more free plastic bags were given out to shoppers) in the UK, the amount of plastic bags given to shoppers decreased with 80%.
100 Steps to a Plastic-Free Life
Do you think it’s possible to live life without plastic? Or to at least live with less of it? Check out this list of plastic-free and less plastic alternatives and see for yourself. Choose a few that seem do-able and that will make the most impact. No one can do it all at once. But we can all get started!