DAKAR (Reuters) – Tired of seeing Senegal’s seascapes spoiled by ever-growing mounds of cheap plastic bags, authorities plan to crack down on polluters by imposing fines and further restricting plastic use.
The West African country, whose beaches on the Atlantic attract tourists from all over the world, is one of the world’s biggest contributors to ocean plastic despite having a population of just 15 million.
Study - Journal - Science - Nations - Quantity
A study in 2010, reported by the journal Science, put it 21st out of all nations for quantity of waste being dumped in the sea – with 254,770 tonnes, only just behind the United States, a vastly bigger economy with many times more people and coastline.
Across Senegal, plastic containers are strewn across roads, often with goats and cows feeding on them, while rubbish can be seen floating in the sea.
Awareness - Harm - Plastic - Life - Breaks
Globally, public awareness is growing about the harm being done by plastic, which hurts marine life and instead of biodegrading breaks down into ubiquitous microplastics.
According to science writer Mike Berners-Lee, of the nine billion tonnes of plastic ever produced, 5.4 billion has been dumped onto land or the sea – enough to shrink wrap the planet in clingfilm.
Senegal - Law - Polythene - Bags - Grocers
In Senegal, a 2015 law banned the most common thin polythene bags, but was never applied. Grocers wrap individual items, even blobs of cheese, butter and coffee in copious plastic.
“The law is not enforced. When you reach major cities, you are greeted by an unpleasant decor, a … visual pollution made of plastic waste as far as the eye can see,” Environment Minister Abdou Karim Sall told Reuters. “We will go around shops … we have security forces who can support us. We’re going to start enforcing this law in its full force,” he said.
Sall - Government - Bill - Months - Wider
Sall said the government would introduce a new bill in the coming months to ban a wider...
Wake Up To Breaking News!