Plastic Pollution on Kenyan Coast
The Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) has expressed concerns over the increased dumping of plastic waste our beaches.
KCGS Director-General Loonena Naisho said that beaches in Lamu, Malindi, Kilifi, Kwale and other coastal areas are choking from the plastic waste ending up in the sea. He reminded the residents and tourists of the importance of proper disposal of plastic which has been causing problems to the marine environment.
The coast guard is working with other organizations on an initiative that will promote, awareness of plastic waste through beach cleanup campaigns. He also warned that anyone found dumping plastic waste into the sea and beaches will be prosection according to the law.
Mr. Naisho lauded the August 2017 ban on plastic bags and proposed legislation to ban single-use plastics.
His sentiments come as environmentalists in Lamu, led by Taka Taka Foundation recently launched the “Okota Plastiki” (collect plastics) that encouraged the locals to collect plastic waste in exchange for cash. A campaign geared towards combating the growing amount of plastic waste being dumped carelessly in the Indian Ocean and on Lamu beaches.While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic — with severe environmental consequences. These single-use plastic products are everywhere. For many of us, they’ve become integral to our daily lives.
Here is an example of the single-use plastics that you could replace, if not minimizing the usage in most cases.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
Water bottles, dispensing containers, biscuit trays
High—density polyethylene (HDPE)
Shampoo bottles, milk bottles, freezer bags, ice cream containers
Low—density polyethylene (LDPE)
Bags, trays, containers, food packaging film
Microwave dishes, ice cream tubs, bottle caps, single-use face masks
Cutlery, plates, cups
Expanded polystyrene (EPS)
Protective packaging, hot drink cups
So, what can you do about plastic pollution on our beaches?
We can all do something to reduce the amount of plastic that enters the ocean in small ways. Here are seven ways you can make a difference, starting today.
1. Reduce Your Use of Single-Use Plastics
Wherever you live, the easiest and most direct way that you can get started is by reducing your use of single-use plastics.
The best way to do this is by
a) refusing any single-use plastics that you do not need (e.g straws, plastic bags, takeout utensils, takeout containers), and
b) Purchasing and carrying with you reusable versions of those products.
C) Help your favourite shops/ restaurants by letting them know that you would like them to offer alternatives.
2. Dispose and recycle Properly
This should go without saying, when you use single-use (and other) plastics or any recyclable plastic, always be sure to recycle them. Carry your plastic waste with you to the nearest dustbin.
Help remove plastics from the ocean and prevent them from getting there in the first place by participating in or organizing a cleanup of your local beach or waterway. This is one of the most direct and rewarding ways to fight ocean plastic pollution. You can simply go to the beach or any other water body and collect plastic waste on your own or with friends or family, or you can join a local organization’s cleanup.
6. Spread the Word
Stay informed on issues related to plastic pollution and help make others aware of the problem. Tell your friends and family about how they can be part of the solution.
7. Support Organizations Addressing Plastic Pollution
Many non-profit organizations are working to reduce and eliminate ocean plastic pollution in a variety of different ways.
Some of those organizations rely on donations from people to continue their important work. Even small donations can make a big difference!