Africa, plastic-wrapped?

30 October 2020 — DeSmog UK

Five years ago this month, the UK took a step to cut back plastic use, slapping a 5p charge on plastic carrier bags. Two years later, Kenya did the same.

The East African country has since gone one further, celebrating this year’s World Environment Day in June by banning single-use plastic in all beaches, forests and conservation areas.

But campaigners are worried Kenya could start going in the opposite direction if the American Chemistry Council, a powerful petrochemicals industry body, gets its way.

The lobby group has been pressuring US officials to use a new trade deal being negotiated between the two countries as a chance to make Kenya a hub for the supply of US-made chemicals and plastics across the continent.

The ACC has form on this: it’s also been working to strip back environmental regulations in the UK as part of post-Brexit US-UK trade talks.

And it’s a backer of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a free-market network with a long history of casting doubt on climate science and drumming up opposition to emissions-reduction policies in US states.

Read Maina Waruru’s full report.

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