Opinion: Let's Beat Plastic pollution

By Winnie Maina | Tuesday Jun 5, 2018

The major concern on plastic bag pollution is that plastic bags are usually manufactured for single use and generally tear or puncture after a first use. They are easily transported by the wind and are some of the most visible components of roadside and shoreline litter. Plastic bags are produced from oil and natural gas, and never fully biodegrade, remaining in the environment as small or even microscopic particles, essentially forever.

A report released by UNEP that identifies plastic as the most pervasive form of ocean litter. The report’s findings reveal that despite several international, regional and national efforts to reverse marine pollution, ocean litter continues to endanger people’s safety and health, entrap wildlife, damage nautical equipment and deface coastal areas around the world.

In Europe, Netherlands, Romania, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdome –Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England are some that made attempts to face out plastic bags in one way or another.

The United States does not have a national plastic bag fee or ban but states such as California and territories such as American Samoa and Puerto Rico have banned disposable bags.

In Africa Kenya joined about 30 countries which have either passed the law and implemented it or passed the law with the intention of implementing it.  Botswana introduced a levy on Plastic Bags in 2007, while in 2014 Cameroon outlawed disposable plastic bags. Eritrea banned plastic bags in 2005, while Mauritania banned the use, manufacture, and importation of plastic bags from 2013.

In 2016, Morocco, Africa’s second largest consumer of plastic bags, affected a law banning the use of plastic bags. Rwanda as part of its Vision 2020 plan for sustainability completely banned plastic bags in 2008.

The theme for World Environment Day 2018, is “Beat Plastic Pollution”, it is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. For a peaceful and prosperous future a healthy environment is essential. We all have a role to play in protecting our environment-the only home, but it can be difficult to know what to do or where to start. That is why this year's World Environment Day has just one request: beat plastic pollution. If you cannot reuse it, refuse it.

It is time society come up with ways that will help in combating this environmental challenge to make sure that we are able to preserve the environment for the future generations to come.

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