The Kenyan government has said there will be no extension to the August 28th deadline on the plastic paper bags ban, a move that has elicited mixed reactions from the populace. Paper bags are ubiquitous in our environment, their use varying from carrying shopping to covering ladies’ weaves when it pours. The ban may therefore seem harsh to opponents, but have you considered effects of plastic paper to the environment? Here are some.
One piece of garbage that is so difficult to manage has to be the plastic paper. Despite citizens’ efforts to dispose of them responsibly, it is not uncommon to see plastic paper bags dotting the environment. Being light, plastic papers easily get dispersed through wind and water. They end up clinging to fences or clogging our waterways. This lettering renders the environment not just unsightly but also risky to animals and young children.
Young children love playing with plastic paper bags oblivious to the danger they pose. It’s not uncommon to see kids pull paper bags over their heads. But once the paper smugly fits on the child’s face, he/she may be unable to breath leading to loss of consciousness and death may occur if timely help is not on hand.
Effect on Land
A large percentage of Kenya’s revenue comes from agriculture and dependent industries. Plastic is not easily biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down. Proliferation of plastic on arablr land lowers quality of soil through inhibition of nutrients hence reducing yield. Additionally, farm animals may suffer internal injuries or even die from ingesting paper bags.
Effect on Air
Most people believe that burning plastic is a harmless way of ridding themselves of the plastic bags eyesore. How wrong they are, burning plastic papers results in emission of toxic gases that contribute to atmospheric degradation courtesy of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The VOCs also reduce indoor air quality and consequently leads to eye, nose and throat irritation.
The ban is a great move that will help keep in curbing environmental degradation and improving health of citizens. It also provides a great opportunity to youths who can come up with alternative packaging materials and produce them on a commercial level.
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