U.N. calls plastic bags a menace (March 03, 2005)
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The United Nations environmental agency has launched a publicity campaign aimed at alerting developing countries to...
The United Nations environmental agency has launched a publicity campaign aimed at alerting developing countries to the environmental hazards of plastic bags. The agency has put out a children’s book that warns communities about discarded plastic and welcomed a Kenyan report that would ban thin, flimsy type plastic bags and place a levy on thicker gauge bags.
According to the report, funded by UNEP and Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the bags block gutters and drains, choke farm animals and marine life and pollute the soil.
The report proposed a ban on bags less than 30 microns thick and a levy on thicker ones. It also recommends switching to alternative bags made of cotton or sisal.
"This is not just a problem for this country," UN Environment Programme (UNEP) executive director Klaus Toepfer told a group of African dignitaries. "Wastes are an increasing problem everywhere, particularly in developing countries."
UNEP said Kenya’s plastic bag levy could become a blueprint for other countires looking to curb waste.