Should plastic bags be banned in Africa?

November 4, 2021 1739 views 15 comments 2 minutes reading time
Should plastic bags be banned in Africa?

Plastic bags are amongst the world’s biggest pollutants. About a trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide each year or 2 million per minute.

Why are plastic bags so bad for the environment? They often take many years to decompose and their waste often poses a serious health threat to human beings and animals. About 700 species of birds, fish, and other marine organisms are killed by plastic bags every year. Toxic substances are often released on soil and into the air when they are burnt. In addition, plastics block waterways and sewers.

Many African countries have begun to take steps to reduce the impact of plastic pollution. So far 34 African countries have passed a law banning plastic bags, however, implementation remains a challenge and the cost of alternative bags discourage consumers from purchasing them.

What do our readers think? Lerato said, “I do not think they should be banned but the amount of usage should be reduced because there is still a need for plastic bags and they are useful but they are harmful to the environment and animals so instead of a ban there should be a reduction of making plastic bags and using them.”

We spoke to Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, to hear what she has to say,

We also asked environment and climate activist, Elizabeth Wathuti, for her perspective,

Should plastic bags be banned across Africa? How do you think plastic pollution in Africa should be reduced? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image by David Jensen, UNEP via Flickr

Comments

PK
Indeed, the damage to the environment is enormous. But digging deep, the bags are pervasive due to convenience, affordability and accessibility. To ban them alone minus a congruent, overriding alternative, simply banishes them into contraband status, peddled behind the backs of the administration. So here's the deal: rapid, widespread awareness creation and capacity building at grassroots on alternative eco-friendly products that can be made from recycled paper, fibres etc. This will both drive a shift from degrading plastics, as well as fuel local industry and income generation from grassroots. Plastics are the preserve of the industrialists. Alternative eco-friendly products will be the gems of the masses, hence improving local and national commerce and GDP.

AK
The plastic bags can be collected from the environment and used gainfully. Proposing to use paper bags of wood means more destruction of trees...

AG
Yes govt shd abolish it

GD
No because plastic can burnet off. is we the cities who are not ready to keep our environment clean masaa

KA
Yes please

AG
Yeah pay the price now enjoy later or enjoy the plastics now pay the price of damage later

E-
No we should start recycling the plastics

LD
Are you asking!!???? Plastic shouldn't exist in AFRICA!

KB
yes

YM
Yes

VE
Yes I think it will be better we use paper bags bcoz we can easily burn them for a short possible time and is the best

AD
No! Simply because a company that manufacturer plastic robers pay taxes to the government! So it's up to the government to employe pple that can go around and pickz this waist product remanufacture it to a new product that can be use again!!! All i know is we pay taxes for development to the citizens and benefits the taxes we have been paying!! They even take from the poor even jail men's!!! Where is the money go!!!!

JN
Yes no place for something that doesn't decompose

BE
Yes

JA
Yes