Why African countries need to ban polythene bags

Editor,Recently, I had a chance to visit several African countries in East and Central Africa and discovered that most of them do not have clear mechanisms to fight the polythene bags menace, which is a worrying trend.Recent research has shown that plastic bags are deadly since they take long to biodegrade which makes them a hazard to agriculture and our environment.
Rwanda has succeded in banning polythene bags. The New Times / File
Rwanda has succeded in banning polythene bags. The New Times / File

Editor,

Recently, I had a chance to visit several African countries in East and Central Africa and discovered that most of them do not have clear mechanisms to fight the polythene bags menace, which is a worrying trend.

Recent research has shown that plastic bags are deadly since they take long to biodegrade which makes them a hazard to agriculture and our environment.

I remember at one point last year, there was a proposal by regional lawmakers to have polythene bags in the EA member countries banned, but implementing this great idea has become a  receding mirage.

Once the proposal succeeds, it will go a long a way in effectively protecting the environment. Something must be done by African leaders to deal with this issue once and for all.

Polythene bags are littered in many cities in different countries and it appears people are now used to living side by side with this hazardous materials. They come across the litter daily but opt to overlook  it

I would like to advise the lawmakers to consult the Rwandan government on managing the menace. Like Rwanda, all African countries should enact such laws to get rid of these bags and protect our continent.

Personally, I believe Rwanda’s success in implementing this law is due to the combined efforts by all Rwandans who wish to live in a better environment.

Hassan Mugabo
Ngoma, District

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