Mauritius Bans Plastic Bags

Present wildlife choking hazard

Ryan O'Hanlon

Paper or prison? In order to protect local wildlife, the government of Mauritius has banned the use of plastic bags, and those in violation—whether buying, manufacturing, or importing—could face anything from a fine to up to a full year behind bars. According to ministry official Mohamed Yahya, more than 70 percent of the cattle and sheep that die in the nation’s capital, Nouakchott, die from eating plastic bags. Government officials also noted the fatal effect plastic-bag waste has on fish as further reason for the ban. A number of other African countries, led by Rwanda in 2006, have passed similar laws.