Bottled drinking water. PHOTO/FLICKR
By PATRICK MAYOYO
From September 1, 2017t, Kenyans complied with a government directive that they stop using plastic bags as part of measures to curb environmental degradation.
While, this was a welcome move to many environmentally conscious Kenyans, it is interesting that the government has remained silent on the use of plastic bottles used by beverage companies selling drinking water, sodas and juices.
The government cannot apply the law selectively by banning the use of plastic bags and not plastic bottles if it is serious about the environmental consequences of using plastics, whether bags or bottles.
The fact remains that plastic bottles are contributing to environmental degradation just as much as plastic bags and the government should demonstrate seriousness about environmental conservation by also acting on plastic bottles.
Studies show that to stay hydrated, a human body needs about half a gallon of fluid intake per day and the healthiest choice is drinking water, and as a result, more and more people in Kenya today are drinking bottled water as others from different parts of the world.
While no data is available on bottled water consumption in Kenya, studies show that on average, Americans drink 36.5 gallons per year, which contributes strongly to the 79 million single-use plastic bottles use daily.
So what happens to the millions of plastic bottles Kenyans use daily for drinking water, juices and sodas? Environment ministry officials will argue that they are being recycled, unfortunately, in the U.S. only about 30 percent of plastic bottles are recycled.
I bet the level of recycling plastic bottles in the US is far higher compared to us here. This calls for a rethink about the plastic bottles problem just as much as the plastic bags one was looked into.
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