To decrease the use of single-use plastic, many countries enforce their strategy. Some are using taxation of plastic, which means charging money for plastic bags used in each purchase. Some others choose to ban plastic use.
However, not every country using the ban strategy impose a full ban. A lot of them still use partial ban, which means only certain regions impose it. That brings the question: which countries have a full plastic ban?
Rwanda has completely banned plastic since 2008, with $52 penalty for people who dump plastic in the public area and $5,220 if companies fail to adapt good waste management. With the fear of public shaming, penalty, and possible jail time for smuggling, produce, selling, or using plastic, Rwanda has become Africa’s cleanest country.
Kenya has tried a full ban twice before. Although the ban on plastic under 30 microns in 2007 and 2011 failed, Kenya tried again on August 2017, and the ban is successfully implemented nationwide. Just like Rwanda, Kenya has a strict rule. Those who create or import plastic bag can be jailed up to four years or given a fine from $19,000 to $38,000.
Bangladesh is the first country ever to ban plastic. In 2002, the government imposed a total ban because plastic is the reason for the country’s flooding. In the last ten years, Bangladesh tripled public policies to ban plastic bags. However, plastic waste is still a major problem for the country.
China banned plastic in 2008, but sadly it was not effective because of the lack of strict enforcement. As a country with the highest plastic users, a new regulation is made each year, such as the drastic cut of plastic import in February 2017. China aims to fully ban plastic bags by 2022, and so far, the plastic ban has reduced 60-80% of China’s plastic waste.
Taiwan banned restaurant for providing plastic straws in 2019, aiming to annihilate all plastic waste by 2030. In 2020, Taiwan bans retail stores for providing plastic utensils and food containers as well as giving out free plastic bags. Additional fees are planned to be imposed in 2025, so by 2030, no one uses single-use straws, containers, utensils, and bags.
In 2019, France decided to fully ban plastic bags. While starting 2020, the country bans plastic plates, cups, and cutlery, despite it is widely used in barbeque party. This ban aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste and innovate people to create more biodegradable products.
The average person in Jamaica used to use 500 per year. As a solution, the country announced their ban of single-use plastic bags in 2017. Since 2018, Jamaica has been banning plastic straws, plastic bags, and styrofoam. The ban is for the importation, distribution, and manufacture of plastic bags.
Each country has their own way to reduce plastic waste. Ban is quite popular in African and Pacific countries. Others that have already started progress to ban single-use plastic nationwide consist of 28 countries including Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, and Madagascar.
Aside from Bangladesh, China and Taiwan, other Asian countries only have partial ban or taxation. Same happened in Europe and other western countries. However, more and more countries are planning to impose a full plastic ban in the future.