8 Kampala - UGANDA

Banana fiber paper bags replace plastic

Environment - From 10 to 16 July

400 years. That’s how long it takes for a plastic bag to decompose – making them one of the largest sources of land and ocean pollution in the world. In Uganda, 39,600 metric tons of plastic waste annually block watercourses, sometimes causing floods and creating places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. To combat this pollution, an entrepreneur came up with the idea of making fully biodegradable plastic bags from banana fibers. A ban, introduced in April, on most plastic bags in the country helped popularize Godfrey Atuheire’s service. He is now producing 3,800 bags per day, sold at between 17 and 88 euro cents each, and plans to double both his production and number of employees over the coming months.