Africa leading the world in banning the plastic bag

2019-05-30 10:30
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It's not often the African continent leads the free, first world. But when it comes to breaking free from plastic, the mother continent is leading the world in plastic bag regulations.

Out of the 31 countries that have placed bans on plastic bags, South Africans can be proud that the Southern part of the continent is leading  charge, according to a National Geographic report. 

Business Tech reports that overall though SA is winning the war on plastics as popular retailers commit to eradicating single use plastics. South Africa's pollution due to broken plastic bags lining streets and blowing aimlessly along fences, caused some to jokingly call it  our fake national flower . Yet back in 2004, we implemented a plastic bag levy, including regulating the thickness of single-use plastics as a means to combat the growing pollution problem they create. 

READ: #BantheBag, #StrawsSuck and other sustainable trends that stuck in 2018

The World Economic Forum details that as of June 1, travelers to Tanzania will have to pack very carefully, as the country announced the implementation of the second phase of its plastic bag ban on May 16.

Similarly Kenya’s efforts, initiated in 2017, is leading to cleaner country too. 

In Kenya, the penalties for ignoring the ban are said to be the world’s most punitive. At $38,000 in fines or four years in prison, it has seen resistance, and enforcement said to be inconsistent. But in a country that once "used about 100 million plastic bags a year", according to UN estimates, the reduction efforts are notable and seem to be effective.

But it's not only the unsightly issues caused by the plastic that desperately need to be dealt with, it's the aftereffects, especially on marine life - that sees the ramping up of banning single-use plastics and straws as a much-needed conservation trend across the African continent.

READ: TL;DR landmark UN Climate Change report: Close to 1 million species at riskInfographic: The Countries Banning Plastic Bags | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

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