Saving the planet hit the women of an African country

Bloomberg: Senegal's Plastic Ban Threatens Women's Jobs under threat. Bloomberg reports.

The new anti-pollution rule could affect access to clean drinking water and the number of jobs for women, many of whom make a living filtering, packaging and reselling tap water in plastic bags. About 30 thousand female employees may be unemployed due to new measures to save the planet. “We need time to find a solution,” the union said.

The ban on single-use plastic should take effect in the African country from December 31st. Senegal's Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development says the business has had ample time to find a replacement for the packaging. Plastic water bags were supposed to be banned back in January 2020, but manufacturers were given a respite due to the coronavirus pandemic hitting the economy. Now that markets are gradually recovering from the crisis, the ban must be fully respected.

Women and girls are protesting against the new rule. Their business is thriving on the demand for inexpensive water. One 14-year-old female worker said she buys several bags for $ 1.3 and sells them for $ 2.59. Non-recyclable bags are cheaper than branded bottled water. Many packages then end up in water bodies – Senegal in 2010 ranked 21st in terms of ocean pollution. At the same time, the union argues that the ban may not reduce the amount of waste, since demand will simply shift to plastic bottles.

Senegal is not the first time trying to restrict the use of plastic. The Ministry of the Environment has offered to help manufacturers and retailers find alternatives and educate the public on correct recycling methods, but this has remained just an initiative so far, so it remains unclear how the law will be enforced in 2022.

Earlier in In October, researchers at Bennington College and Beyond Plastics found that plastic is more dangerous to the planet than the world's dirtiest fuel source, coal-fired power plants. According to scientists, over the entire life cycle of plastic, 232 million tons of greenhouse gases are annually emitted into the atmosphere – the same amount of emissions is produced by 116 coal-fired power plants.