Flimsy but popular with merchants, the plastic bags of Zanzibar, Tanzania's world-famous trade hub, are littering the country in whirl of white. The government has taken action against the flighty culprit, banning any plastic bag less than 30 microns thick in hopes manufacturers will turn to sturdier plastics or environmentally friendly materials such as raffia or paper. From Shashank Bengali of McClatchy Newspapers (link through San Jose Mercury News):
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania - The fabled marketplaces of this East African island once lured traders from across the Indian Ocean with soft ivory, exotic spices and slaves. Now Zanzibar is taking a stand against a staple of modern-day commerce: the plastic bag.
Last month the nation of Tanzania, which includes semi-autonomous Zanzibar, banned cheap plastic bags, becoming the latest African country to crack down on what's increasingly seen as an environmental menace.
EvenÂ the 2004 Nobel Peace prize, Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmentalist has urged Kenyans to reject plastic bags when shopping.
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