For Gloria Majiga-Kamoto, her great awakening to plastic pollution started with goats. She was working for a local environmental nongovernmental organization in her native Malawi with a program that gave goats to rural farmers. The farmers would use the goats’ dung to produce low-cost, high-quality organic fertilizer. The problem? The thin plastic bags covering the Malawian countryside. "We have this very common street food. It’s called chiwaya , and it’s just really potato fried on the side of the road, and it’s served in these little blue plastics," Majiga-Kamoto says. "So because it’s salty, once the goats get a taste of the salt, they just eat the plastic because they can’t really tell that it’s inedible. And they die because it blocks the ingestion system — there’s no way to survive." The goats were supposed to reproduce for the program, with the goat kids going on to new farmers. But because of plastic deaths, the whole goat chain started falling apart. "It was a lot of expectation from the farmers waiting to benefit. So you had this farmer who had this one goat, and then they lost it. And that means that in that chain of farmers, that’s obviously […]

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