Plastic bags ban: the benefits will outlive generations

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Youth engaged in making paper bags in Kigali. Other countries in the region have joined the efforts of using bio-degradable paper instead of plastic bags. File

Editor,

RE: “Don’t compromise on plastic bags ban” (The New Times, September 8).

You must be a good disciple and an environmentalist, else you have an idea, but that thing called environment is being damaged by far bigger things other than plastics and Uganda is targeting taxes, thousands of jobs...

John

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If I understand you—and I confess it is hard to decipher what you have just written—you are saying that, because the environment is being damaged by other things, adding to that damage with plastics in the interest of taxes and jobs is no big deal!

The warning attributed to a Cree Amerindian sage regarding the calamitous consequences of destroying our living environment—for all of us, those who contribute to that destruction, and future generations (if there are any), should wake you up: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.”

What good are taxes and jobs in a dying environment? For how long can they be generated when their carrying costs progressively over-weigh any fleeting benefits they might bring?

For, mark my words, if Kenya with its much more significant plastics manufacturing industry, has decided to eschew the jobs and taxes it brings, it is because it has done its own costs-benefits analysis of plastics manufacturing, distribution and use and determined that those costs far outweigh the benefits.

Mwene Kalinda