Still grumbling about the ban on plastic bags in Tacoma when you’re standing at the checkout counter, having forgotten your own bag for the umpteenth time?
Well, it could be worse.
Kenya just introduced the world’s toughest ban on plastic bags, Reuters reported.
Carrying a single plastic bag there could now cost you a $38,000 fine or up to four years in jail.
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The country’s environmental minister said individual people could be targeted, but most of the enforcement will focus on manufacturers and suppliers.
Tacoma’s ban went into effect in July.
Although there is no punishment for hoarding or continuing to use plastic bags in city limits, stores in Tacoma no longer offer plastic bags at the checkout counter.
Bags made of recycled paper can be bought for at least five cents or you can bring your own personal shopping bag.
Tacoma is one of more than a dozen cities statewide that implemented the ban due to dangers to marine wildlife and overwhelming litter in urban areas.
Kenya voted their ban in for similar reasons.
About 100 million plastic bags are handed out every year in Kenya just by supermarkets, according to the United Nations Environmental Program.
“If we continue like this, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish,” Habib El-Habr, a marine litter expert working with the U.N. Environment Programme in Kenya, told Reuters.
The government set up road blocks for vehicle checks Monday after the ban in Kenya went into effect, the Associated Press reported.
Similar bans have been implemented in other African countries such as Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mauritania and Malawi.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653