Plastic Pollution In Niger: An Alarming Snapshot

It is an alarming scene the Sahara Conservation Fund observed, again, during its field work in Niger: plastic pollution is spoiling landscapes and seriously endangering wildlife. The ingestion of plastic by animals can indeed kill them.

Non-biodegradable plastic bags are used everywhere Niger markets. In the cities, the authorities use staff to reduce pollution a little, even if many of these bags do not end up where they should (transported by the wind). The government adopted an ambitious national management strategy more than ten years ago by stopping plastic bag production in Niger. But it is only recently that effective actions are applied by government agents to prevent transporters from bringing plastic bags in Niger. 

These bags are also used outside cities, in rural markets where nothing is done to stop them from ending up in already fragile ecosystems. As a reminder, it takes 450 years for a plastic bag to degrade, enough time to damage soil and water. These bags enhance the risk of disease for humans and the asphyxiation of fauna and flora by reducing the air and obstructing sunlight.