Kenya has passed the world’s most restrictive law against plastic bags

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As Kenya’s environment minister Judy Wakhungu declared  manufacturers would be predominantly targeted first. “If we continue like this, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish,” said Habib El-Habr, an expert on marine litter working with the UN Environment Program in Kenya. After the law was sgned, the Association of Manufacturers in Kenya said it would cost 60,000 jobs and force 176 manufacturers to close. Describing effects, its spokesman said: “It will even affect the women who sell vegetables in the market – how will their customers carry their shopping home?” Fact is that more than 8 million tones of plastic pollute the world’s oceans every year.

major-plastic-pollution-in Africa
Major plastic polution in Africa

Many bags drift into the ocean, strangling turtles, suffocating seabirds and filling the stomachs of dolphins and whales with waste until they die of starvation. On the other part, plastic bags can take between 500 and 1,000 years to break down. 40 other countries that have banned, partly banned or taxed single-use plastic bags, including China, France, Rwanda, and Italy. On February 2017, at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali, UN Environment launched an unprecedented global campaign to eliminate major sources of marine litter: microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic by the year 2022.

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