Being one of the culprits that contribute massively to global warming, single-use plastics have been choking not just drains but lives too. Environmentalists have been calling for a ban on single-use plastic but considering our dependency on it, it continues to be in use.
There are some countries who have taken strict measures to phase out the production and use of single-use plastics. In 2002, Bangladesh became the first country to impose a ban on plastic bags. In India, single-use plastic items won’t be allowed from July 1 this year.
Since then, other countries have also stepped up their efforts in the conservation of the environment and have introduced similar bans or restrictions.
On March 2 this year, a total of 170 nations pledged to do away with the use of plastics by the year 2030. The pledge was taken at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya and also included India.
By adopting effective measures and pushing for the use of alternatives, 80 countries have been successful in bringing a full or partial ban on single-use plastic. What is worth noting here is that 30 of these countries are in the African continent.
Countries like Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Rwanda among others have introduced strict policies to discourage the use of single-use plastic and ban it. Kenya’s ban on plastic bags is considered the world’s strictest plastic bag ban which it brought in 2017. With the ban, the Kenyan government aimed at tackling issues like severe flooding caused due to drainage systems choked by plastic bags.
Rwanda is another African country which imposed a ban on plastic bags back in 2008. It adopted strict policies where luggages were checked at border for any plastic and authorities would even seize it if found. Offenders can even be slapped with a fine or awarded jail time.
Apart from plastic bags, there are some nations who are gradually banning other hazardous plastic waste. While Britain banned plastic straws and bags, the US banned plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products.
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