Al Qaeda-backed terror group bans single-use plastic bags

Al Qaeda-backed terror group bans single-use plastic bags

Fear of violence at the hands of al-Shabaab means that their edicts are usually followed

Al-Shabaab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 2011. (AP/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)
Al-Shabaab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 2011. (AP/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)

The al-Shabaab terror organization may show little regard for human life, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t care about Mother Earth.

The Somalia-based group announced this week that it is banning single-use plastic bags in the territories under its control.

The statement announcing the ban was published on a pro-Shabaab website which is believed to be operated by the media wing of the terrorist group, the New York Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the website broadcast an audio clip in which Mohammed Abu Abdullah, al-Shabaab’s governor in the Jubaland region, said that plastic bags “pose a serious threat to the well-being of humans and animals alike.”

According to the BBC there was no mention of how the ban was to be enforced; however, fear of violence at the hands of the terrorists means that their edicts are usually followed.

The Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu, and also carries out regular attacks in neighboring Kenya which has troops in Somalia as part of an African Union force.

On July 15, 2012, Isaq Abdi and his younger brother Ahmedsa Abdi share a small meal from a plastic bag on a street corner at the end of their day of work in Mogadishu, Somalia. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

This is not the first time terrorists have shown concern for the environment — documents seized during the 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan included a letter in which he called on Americans to help then-president Barack Obama fight “catastrophic” climate change and “save humanity,” the Reuters news agency reports.

Global plastic production increased to 380 million metric tons (418 million tons) in 2015 from 2 million metric tons in 1950, according to research by Roland Geyer, a professor of industrial ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

About 60 percent of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced throughout history has ended up as waste, with more than three-fourths of that going into landfills or the natural environment, Geyer estimates. In 2010 alone, between 4 million and 12 million metric tons of plastic entered the marine environment.

The material kills and maims wildlife and makes its way into the food chain.

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