Ban plastic bags in kenya
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Mr President, and the Parliament of Kenya duly capable and empowered by the constitution of Kenya i hereby forward my petition to you. Here are the reasons i believe that it imperative that we ban the production and use of plastic bags.
Plastic bags pollute our land and water. Because they are so lightweight, plastic bags can travel long distances by wind and water. They litter our landscapes, get caught in fences and trees, float around in waterways, and can eventually make their way into the world’s oceans.
Plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources and contribute to climate change. The majority of plastic bags are made of polypropylene, a material that is made from petroleum and natural gas. Both of these materials are non-renewable fossil fuel-based resources and through their extraction and production, they create greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change.The production of these bags is also very energy intensive. To produce nine plastic bags, it takes the equivalent energy to drive a car one kilometer (more than 0.5 miles).
Using these non-renewable resources to make plastic bags is very short-sighted, considering that the typical useful life of each plastic bag is about 12 minutes.
Plastic bags never break down. Petroleum-based plastic bags do not truly degrade. What does occur is that when out in the environment, the plastic breaks up into tiny little pieces that end up in the ocean to be consumed by wildlife. Today, there are an estimated 46,000-1,000,000 plastic fragments floating within every square mile of our world’s oceans.
Plastic bags are harmful to wildlife and marine life. Plastic bags and their associated plastic pieces are often mistaken for food by animals, birds, and marine life like fish and sea turtles. The consumed plastic then congests the digestive tracts of these animals, and can lead to health issues such as infections and even death by suffocation. Animals can also easily become entangled in this plastic².
Plastic bags collect water in the rainy season. This water in waste plastic bags creates a safe haven for mosquitoes which spread malaria and other harmful diseases.
Plastic bags are harmful to human health. Plastic fragments in the ocean such as those from plastic bags can absorb pollutants like PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) and PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), which are known to be hormone-disrupting chemicals¹. When marine organisms consume plastics in our oceans, these chemicals can make their way through the ocean’s food web and then into humans who eat fish and other marine organisms.
Plastic bags are costly to pay for and to clean up after. While we may not pay for plastic bags directly when we go shopping, they are anything but “free.” Plastic bags cost about 3-5 cents each, and that cost is then incorporated into prices of the items sold at stores. The cost of plastic bag cleanup is about 17 cents per bag, and on average, taxpayers end up paying about Kes 8,800 per year just on plastic bag waste. So that “free” plastic bag isn’t so free after all.
Plastic bags are not easy to recycle. As plastic bags tend to get caught in recycling machinery, most recycling facilities do not have the capacity to recycle plastic bags and therefore do not accept them. As a result, the actual recycling rate for plastic bags is less than 5%.
Attempts to burn plastic bags by county governments releases harmful gases that not only contribute to global warming but respiratory diseases in people who reside near garbage dumps like Dandora.
Plastic bags reduce the usable land. plastic chocked land can not be used for agricultural purposes among other uses.
Plastic bags have external costs. Beyond the costs associated with the production and purchasing of plastic bags by retailers, there are many external costs that are often not considered. These costs include the true environmental costs of resource extraction and depletion, quality of life loss, economic loss from littering, and wildlife loss. Sadly, such costs are typically not included in most economic analyses, but nonetheless, these negative impacts are very real.
Plastic bags have turned traditionally tourist towns like Mombasa into an eye sore. This plastic bags can be seen from the air and when travelling by road. This significantly affects tourist revenues as the attractiveness of this towns diminishes.
There are better alternatives available, and jobs to go with them! Once a person gets into the habit of bringing reusable bags when shopping, it is not much of an inconvenience at all. Reusable shopping bags are very durable and can be reused many times over the course of their useful life. The manufacturing of reusable bags is also another opportunity to create sustainable products and the jobs that go with them.
Other governments are banning plastic bags, so yours should too… or at least make people pay for them. To date, more than 40 countries and municipalities around the world have instituted plastic bag bans. The United Nations Environmental Programme Secretariat has recommended a ban on all plastic bags globally.
Therefore President Uhuru Kenyatta and honorable members of parliament, let banning of plastic bags be one of your legacies. A legacy that will ensure the health and wealth of this great nation.
some information collected from greentumble.com
- President Uhuru Kenyatta
- Kenyan Parliament
Ban plastic bags in kenya
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