Imagine being trapped in a huge plastic bag. Breathing will certainly become difficult and if you’re unable to get yourself out of the situation, you might eventually die of suffocation.
Yet this is the scenario that human activity is slowly but surely putting the environment into. Over 100 million marine animals are estimated to die each year due to plastic waste. According to UN Environment, we’re dumping more than 8 Million tons of plastic waste into our oceans every year. That is equivalent to a garbage truck every minute! As a result, marine creatures are getting entangled and suffocated by plastic bags. In some cases, animals and birds ingest plastic litter unknowingly thinking it is food and this eventually ends up in the food chain.
How would you feel if your beautiful green backyard, farm, or compound is piled up with plastic litter? When all your food that has successfully managed to grow is struggling to produce a bountiful harvest? When the animals you call pets or the farm animals sleep on plastic trash? When every inch of your house is filled with plastic waste and walkways and roads have become garbage dumpsites? Unfortunately this is what we’re doing to ourselves and to the environment. Somehow, we have become comfortable with the sight of plastic bags on our roads, cities, and water bodies. We have become a society that uses ‘blame games’ to question everything. We accuse the government and other stakeholders for contributing to all the waste we see every day. We think that maybe the government should rethink solid waste management.
But individuals as well as the corporate world can do something however small to contribute to ending plastic pollution. The good news is that companies are taking a positive stand, as is Government which is set ban plastic bags in a policy to take effect September 2017.
Safaricom in particular has taken an initiative to protect the environment and support the plastic bag ban by launching their own eco-bags. Safaricom appreciates that environmental considerations are not any separate from their core business, rather an integral part of their overall business strategy. The company recognizes its moral responsibility to manage their environmental impact an this is certainly laudable. Eco-bags can be reused multiple times unlike the single-use plastic bags. I wish more corporates and individuals could take a pledge to kill our plastic addiction and use eco-bags for a better, cleaner and safer environment for all species.
And there’s money to be saved. For example, by switching to re-usable eco-bags, Safaricom is looking at savings of 10m per year.