Today is World Environment Day, and what better way to celebrate it, is by banning single-use plastic products. As of today, Kenya has banned the use of single-use plastics in protected areas, including its national parks, beaches, forests and conservation areas.
In Kenya there are 23 terrestrial national parks, 28 terrestrial national reserves, 4 marine national parks, 6 marine national reserves, 4 national sanctuaries and 372 gazetted forests. These are the areas considered most vulnerable to the polluting effects of single-use plastics.
Kenya’s President- Uhuru Kenyatta, announced the ban in June last year, while speaking at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference at the Vancouver Conference Centre in Canada. The ban on single-use plastic products comes in just over two years after President Kenyatta’s government banned the use, manufacture and sale of environmentally harmful plastics, polythene bags and packaging materials in August 2017.
Single-use plastic products are to be disposed of or recycled before entering any protected area in Kenya. There are a wide range of plastic materials that fall under this category. Some of the materials include: disposable plates, cups, utensils, water/soda bottles, grocery bags, food packing materials, containers and straws.
Kenya has been one of the countries at the forefront of the fight to protect the environment, by aiming to reduce harmful pollutants. Let’s hope that this initiative encourages other destinations to do the same.
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Photo credit to Dom Toothaker