To ban or not ban


Plastic carrier bags

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

51 thoughts on “To ban or not ban

  1. jim- says:

    I like the ban. The cloth and paper have their issues too, but they’re not blowing in the wind and killing marine life. They’re everywhere. True that paper requires timber, but the paper mills around here are growing rapid growth tree farms in defined areas. Or they use paper and wood waste, chips and sawdust from other industries. That is quite different from leveling forests to make bags and newsprint. Single use plastic is terrible.
    Just so I can have 6oz of yogurt we have a plastic bio that sits in the landfill for hundreds of years. I’m in favor of less convenience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Do you think the problem is single use bags or lack of proper waste disposal?
      We have a plastic ban since I think last year and I agree with you, they are not being blown everywhere as in the past. But the substitute is of doubtful quality.
      Maybe what should happen is that the paper replacement should be of such a quality that it can be reused and I hope they recycle them so we are not cutting down trees to make waste baskets

      Liked by 1 person

      • jim- says:

        The US is pretty good at getting rid of trash. We’ve been in that business a long long time. In Panama all the convenience cups, straws, bags and McDonald’s wrappers and crap overflow from the bus stop dumpsters so bad people just start dropping shit in the ground. They don’t know what to do with it all.
        And overall, Panamanians keep very tidy homes and cars. It’s awkward to see all the garbage. Better multi-use recyclable bags—makes a lot of sense.

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        • makagutu says:

          We do pretty poorly in solid waste management. I last read the close to 50% of all waste produced in Nairobi does not end up in the legal dumpsite. Oh, and the dumpsite itself should be decommissioned.

          Liked by 1 person

          • jim- says:

            Ever since the World War II you could always tell when the Americans had been through. Trash. A lot of countries struggle with what we have mastered. 🎯

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          • makagutu says:

            hopefully those who manage our urban areas will learn best practices and not try to reinvent the wheel

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          • jim- says:

            Getting rid of garbage is big business here. My can is picked up every Tuesday and it’s $25 a month. The average American has 4 lbs of trash a day. I think a better alternative would be everybody live simply with less convenience, but that’s a friggin pipe dream

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          • makagutu says:

            My garbage collection is part of the rent. Though I can tell you that $25 a month wouldn’t be affordable to most people in Nairobi, especially the urban poor.
            Separation of waste, composting( where possible) and reducing the waste produced are all good practices

            Liked by 1 person

          • jim- says:

            I agree, but I think my point is it’s expensive to deal with garbage effectively.

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          • makagutu says:

            Oh it is. That I don’t dispute at all.
            In the studies I looked at, it is reported that cities need to commit about 40% of revenue to solid waste management. And that’s a lot of money

            Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            Cost is reasonable here. All recyclables are free and other household waste is $8 for 5 large bags. That would last us 7 or 8 weeks.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            That’s reasonable, very reasonable

            Like

  2. Barry says:

    Single use plastic bags are being phased out here. All supermarkets and many other national retailing chains no longer provide single use plastic bags. Some provide compostable alternatives, but most expect you to bring your own. We’ve got about a dozen jute bags, we carry in the car.

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  3. judyt54 says:

    There is a use for those plastic bags, but few people believe me, but I actually save them and use them as insulation (really) in our house. It’s an old house, post and beam, and regular fiberglass insulation only works properly on houses that use 16″ centers, and no cross members. We have it, but it doesn’t fill the corners and ‘edges’. A bit of kitchen knife work and patience, and bit by bit the house is far less drafty.

    This area, at least, will sell you reusable and sturdy canvas bags, or you can bring your own. Many grocery stores will offer a receptacle for you to return your plastic bags and they do the job of recycling for you.
    And yeah, a lot of places are really into recycling great amounts of waste material, sometimes at a price, sometimes for free.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Interesting. Paper bags for insulation, I didn’t know that maybe because we don’t need insulation for our homes.
      We are not doing a lot of recycling, unfortunately. And i think this explains why we have a huge issue with solid waste

      Like

  4. ChecheWinnie says:

    Ban

    Like

  5. Swarn Gill says:

    We use the plastic bags for cleaning the cat litter bins because it is the right size. We’ll have to buy small plastic bags if they go away, but I’m okay with that. We try to use the cloth reusable bags as much as possible already.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. john zande says:

    Yes, or make them biodegradable.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t use bags at all. What I do is wear an extremely large pair of pants, and, when I go grocery shopping, I simply stuff the groceries into my extra large pants and waddle home. Yes, once in awhile, eggs may break and milk may spill whilst I’m carrying them home in my giant pants, but, hey, it’s a small sacrifice to pay for saving the environment.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Ubi Dubium says:

    I don’t like the idea of an outright ban. I do like the idea of mandating that all such bags be biodegradable by a certain date. And I like incentives for remembering to bring your canvas bags. A few stores I use give a small credit for remembering to bring your own bags. Perhaps the plastic bags should have a small mandatory charge attached, that might get people to remember to bring their own.

    And yes, we use them for the catbox also, although the plastic sleeves from newspapers are even better for that purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Our regulators seem unaware of other means of addressing problems. We have had a total.ban since last year.
      Biodegradable bags would be fine, I think

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nan says:

      You reminded me that one of our local stores used to provide a nickel credit for using cloth bags. Not anymore. Not sure when it stopped.

      We use cloth bags and request paper if we happen to forget them in the car. Paper may have its drawbacks, but IMO NOTHING like those plastic bags!

      Also … I buy doggy bags for poop pickup. Since they too are plastic, I’m not sure if they’re any better … but they are smaller and definitely aren’t empty to fly around in the wind, so maybe … 😉

      I do wish more attention would be paid to biodegradable plastic — and not just for grocery bags.

      Liked by 2 people

      • makagutu says:

        I prefer cartons if they have any used ones. When we used plastic carrier bags, supermarkets doled them out freely. I think they must have been so cheap to make. Now they sell some low quality bags that most of the time i just prefer to throw things in the trunk

        Liked by 1 person

    • basenjibrian says:

      California charges 10 cents per bag. I usually buy one and use them for garbage and other stuff like laundry. or recycle them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. renudepride says:

    I use canvas bags for purchases – mainly food items. I don’t like the plastic bags at all and have no need for them. I feel they should be banned completely or made totally illegal. Naked hugs!

    Like

  10. Ron says:

    I’ve been using cloth bags for over 20 years and they’re still holding up pretty well. Plus, some retailers take a few cents off your purchase for using them.

    As for banning plastics, scientists have discovered a plastic-eating enzyme to take care of the problem:

    https://uopnews.port.ac.uk/2018/04/16/engineering-a-plastic-eating-enzyme

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      It appears you fellows were light years ahead. I remember a time in my youth when there were no plastic blags and we had woven bags, some from sisal rope and reeds. Then all over sudden plastic was everywhere. Now, slowly, we are going back to no plastic bags

      Like

  11. nannus says:

    They should ban those bags, they are harmful. Some countries, like Rwanda, have shown it is possible.

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  12. Good cloth bags are best, I have ones years old that are still going. The plastic ones sold in the shops often aren’t strong enough to carry the groceries home in, which is no bad thing as it encourages people to use cloth bags.

    Or giant pants.

    – Esme putting her two penneth in from upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

  13. basenjibrian says:

    The only thing I have read bad about the cloth bags is that they can be contaminated and thus prove a health hazard. I supposed one can wash them, but that may be too inconvenient for most Americans. 🙂

    Like

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