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Kenya imposes world's toughest plastic bags law

Monday, August 28, 2017 - 01:39

Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000 from Monday (August 28), as the world's toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution came into effect. Report by Pascale Davies.

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The world's toughest law against plastic bags has just been put in place in Kenya (August 28). Those caught producing, selling or even using plastic bags, risk imprisonment of up to four years, or fines of $40,000 dollars. The government hopes it'll help protect the environment. 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. But the bags can also be harmful to humans. Microplastics can be passed onto people who consume meat of fish that have swallowed the bag. In this slaughterhouse in Nairobi some cows had 20 bags removed from their stomachs. It's taken Kenya three attempts over ten years to finally pass the ban, and not everyone is a fan.Grace, a polythene bag retailer says many jobs will be lost. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLYTHENE BAGS RETAILER, GRACE IRUNGU, SAYING: I am fearing the effect because now I don't know what I will be selling to them and now that will be a loss to my business since I don't have anything to sell. This might also end up in the laying off of some staff since I don't know what I will be paying them with." It's a big environmental step forward for Kenya,and big supermarket chains like France's Carrefour and Nakumatt have already started offering cloth bags to customers as an alternative.

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Kenya imposes world's toughest plastic bags law

Monday, August 28, 2017 - 01:39