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Which countries are outlawing single use plastic?

Georgina Wilson-Powell

31 August 2017

Can we get a round of applause for both Kenya and Costa Rica who in the last few weeks have announced progressive and eco-friendly laws that ban some sort or all single use plastic. Let's take a look.

This week Kenya started its ban on plastic bags. Anyone producing or selling single use plastic bags faces four years in jail or a $40,000 fine (there 176 plastic bag manufacturers in the country). And anyone using one also faces stiff charges and penalties. 

Costa Rica Plastic Ban Pebble Magazine2

Plastic bags take decades to break down and most aren't recycled

It's a lot granted, but it's needed to combat the daily production of millions of bits of plastic that take decades to break down and often end up harming or killing wildlife or marine life, who mistake them for food. There are cows in the food chain in Kenya having 20 plastic bags removed from their stomachs. It's horrendous or lethal for the cow and those micro plastic particles also leach into our food chain.

Costa Rica Plastic Ban Pebble Magazine

Costa Rica's huge range of animals won't have to ingest plastic any more

Costa Rica has gone one further. It will be the first country to ban all single use plastic - so that's plastic bottles, plastic bags, straws, cups, cutlery and so on. It's investing in alternative materials and offering up incentives for businesses to switch their models so that by 2021 it's single use plastic free.

Costa Rica is one of the most eco-friendly countries there is, pioneering alternative fuels as well as biodiversity programmes. It aims to be carbon neutral in under five years and last year powered itself on 100% renewable energy for two-thirds of the year.

Costa Rica aims to be single use plastic free by 2021

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