One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia

By Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

The inspiring true story of how one African woman began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community. Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred. The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change. Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person's actions really can make a difference in our world.

 

 

Lesson Plans

 
 

Click the image at right to listen to Mary Nolin, Connections Program Manager, read "One Plastic Bag." For questions or ideas for your learners, please contact Mary at mnolin@nhhumanities.org.