Photo: Kajsa Litton

FUF-correspondents

Kenya shows a future without plastic bags

On August 28, 2017, one of the world's toughest laws came into force against the buying, selling and manufacturing of plastic bags. With up to four years in prison as a punishment and fines as high as 38 US dollars, in a country where it is not uncommon for a monthly salary of between 000-100 dollars, Kenya shows that they are serious about this environmental issue.

Almost eight months have passed since the law came into force and it is clear that society has adapted. Instead of getting a plastic bag when you shop in the grocery store and at the local market, there is now the option to pay a small amount for a more environmentally friendly and reusable bag. In one of the large food chains in Nairobi, a few weeks ago I saw the opportunity to buy a large bag for 40 Kenyan shillings, equivalent to about three kronor, with a guarantee for life. When the bag has been worn out, you can get a new bag, at no extra cost. There are also several different variations of handmade baskets available to buy, as an even more sustainable alternative.

Kenya, together with other countries that have taken a stand on this environmental issue by banning plastic bags, has shown that it is possible and is a good example to the rest of the world. Although plastic bags only represent part of the solution to the great environmental problem, we must remember that it is still an important part and a necessary step to take. The only question is when will Sweden do the same?

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