The plastic war

Rubbish in ChadA few years ago, thrown-away plastic bags were a common sight in the streets of Chad’s capital N’Djamena. But in 2010, a new mayor decided to tackle the problem.

The mayor made use of a 1992 law which prohibits the import of plastic bags and the city began to enforce this ban.

Businesses and locals were initially sceptical, but soon shops and markets stopped supplying plastic bags. A radio and school campaign helped spread the message. Now, shoppers in N’Djamena carry re-usable bags to take their goods away.

The streets have become clear of the black flimsy bags which used to festoon trees, plants and walkways. With the success of the scheme, officials in the capital are hoping other towns and cities will follow their lead and ban the plastic bag.