The United Nations is working with African governments to decrease production of plastic bags, promote reuse, and increase plastic film recycling, reports Andrew Cawthorne of Reuters. Since plastic bag production increased rapidly in the 1990s due to advances in technology that made bag manufacturing less expensive, plastic bag waste have become a fixture of the African landscape:
"Producedâ€"and then strewn en masseâ€"in most countries, the flimsy bags block drains and sewage systems and can kill livestock who nibble and digest them. They spread malaria by holding mini-pools of warm water for mosquitoes to breed in. They choke soil and plants, and leak colour additives into food."
Rwanda, Eritrea and the region of Somaliland have banned the bags and many other African countries have other regulations in place.
CAW and Plastic Bags: