The alarm has rung.

The damagecaused by plastic bag has worsen. It is time for governments to step up andmake a real change, by introducing new laws and policies to eradicate the useof plastic bag. While there have been lots ofeffort to eradicate plastic pollution, laws and policies is the only methodthat, by far, is the most effective one. Campaigns to recycle, initiated byNGOs, or even government, tend to be ignored. While it is fair to say that the messageto recycle has reached more people than ever, when it comes to the bottom line,both economically and environmentally, not much has changed at all.

However, itis a whole different idea when it comes to government policies. Early figuresuggested that the number of single-use plastic bags used in England has decreasedfor more than 85% after the introduction of a 5p charge last October. Similarpolicy has been introduced by the Indonesian government as they charge 200Indonesian Rupiahs for a plastic bag. The result? People tend to bring theirown shopping bag rather than pay for a plastic bag. The Kenyans even take thismatter to another level.

Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bagswill risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000.This bold announcement may bedriven by the company’s self-conscious on the environment, or even by thecompany’s marketing strategy. However, Iceland made this announcement just fewdays after the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, vowed to eradicate all avoidableplastic waste in the UK by 2042, with proposed policies including plastics-freeaisles in supermarkets and a tax on takeaway containers. Iceland has become thefirst major retailer to “implement” May’s policies to help end the overwhelmingplastic waste produced by the Brits. It seems premature to draw any conclusion,but it is safe to say that May’s 25-years-plan is the cause of Iceland’s move.

UK supermarket giant Iceland justannounced that they are planning to eliminate or drastically reduce plasticpackaging of all its own-label products by the end of 2023. This move is causedby the growing concern over plastic pollution over in the ocean, which may killsea creatures. Public responses have been overwhelmingly positive. Survey showsthat 80% of 50,000 people polled would support plastic-free supermarkets.


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