Yes. At least 40 countries, states and major cities have imposed, or are considering, bans. According to the UN environment programme based in Nairobi, the plastic problem is now “on the agenda of almost every African country”. Rwanda and Eritrea have banned the bags outright; Tanzania has stopped all imports as well as the manufacture of bags, and flimsy plastic drinking water containers; Kenya is in the process of prohibiting them and South Africa, which once produced 7bn bags a year, has prohibited bags thinner than 30 microns (one micron is one-thousandth of a millimetre). In many cases the bans have not proved effective. A ban on the use of thin plastic bags in Uganda has been widely ignored. Papua New Guinea, Bhutan, Zanzibar and Botswana have all banned bags and introduced taxes. At least six Indian states, including Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh, have bans or are considering them. Densely populated Taiwan, which is running out of landfill space, has not only banned bags but has stopped fast food restaurants and supermarkets issuing plastic knives, forks and cups.
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