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Al-Shabaab finally does something good, bans plastic bags

Says non-biodegradable plastic bags pose a serious risk to environment and humans

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AGENCIES–Al-Shabaab terrorists might take pleasure in killing people but they actually have a heart for ecology. |The Somali-based terror group has introduced an eco-friendly ban on plastic bags–just hours after killing four people in a brutal mortar attack.

The notorious terrorists, who have links to Al-Qaeda, said the single-use plastics “pose a serious threat to the wellbeing of humans and animals” as they announced the sweeping measures on Sunday afternoon, according to HuffPost.

News of the ban is said to have broken on al-Shabaab’s radio station, Radio Andalus, after seven civilians were injured and four others killed in mortar attacks in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the killings on Sunday, also putting forward plans to introduce an immediate ban on the logging of native trees.

According to terror experts, the shift is intended to show that the group is capable of governing and is concerned with environmental policies.

Raffaello Pantucci, counter-terror expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told HuffPost: “Other East African governments have banned plastic bags and this ban is al-Shabaab’s attempt to show their people that they, too, can implement laws and govern like any legitimate ruler.

“It’s quite ironic though that the same group has been involved in the banned ivory trade to fund its terror activities across the Horn of Africa.”

Rwanda banned non-biodegradable plastic bags more than a decade ago and has maintained a nonsense approach to the plastic bags since.

Other regional countries have often tried to implement the ban under the East African Community rules but with little success although Kenya has of recent been cracking the whip on plastic bags.

It is not yet clear how al-Shabaab group plans to implement the ban, but Mohamed Abu Abdalla, the group’s governor for southern Somalia’s Shabelle regions, said details would be announced later.

Al-Shabaab is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK and is believed to number between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters.

It has imposed a strict version of Sharia law in areas under its control, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of thieves.

Somalia’s government blamed the group for the killing of at least 500 people in a huge truck bombing in the capital Mogadishu in October 2017. It was East Africa’s deadliest bombing.

The group also carryied out a massive attack on a Kenyan military base in Somalia’s el-Ade town in January 2016, killing around 180 soldiers.

Plastic bags are one of the most common types of litter worldwide. Build ups of plastic bags are notorious for causing blockages of local drainage systems. This leads to frequent flooding. Plastic bags also pose serious health hazards to populations as over time they leach toxic chemicals into drinking water supplies.

Plastic bags are hugely difficult to recycle. The common three-arrow recyclable symbol is found on plastic packaging across the US, however in many cases it is a marketing trick, as there is no regulation of the symbol or legal requirements for the way it is used, and every municipality in America has different guidelines on what it can and cannot recycle.

Many of the plastic bags collected by recycling companies cannot be reused or recycled, as the industry that produces them does not want to buy them back. Most ‘recycled’ bags therefore end up in landfill sites.

 

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