County Assembly compel supermarkets to do packaging

Supermarkets in Kakamega County were compelled to provide free packaging for customers. [Courtesy]
It is a sigh of relief for county supermarkets customers after the assembly passed motion compelling the retail shops to provide packaging bags.

The motion was passed on Wednesday. Most supermarkets around the country stopped offering packaging services for their customers after the ban on plastic bags was imposed last year.

Supermarkets had argued that the expense of the packaging bags was too high to give them out free. Shoppers in Kakamega will get relief if supermarkets adhere to the recently passed motion by the county assembly.

The motion, which received overwhelming support, was sponsored by Ann Mulwale (nominated) who noted that supermarkets were over-exploiting their customers by charging extra costs to buy bags after shopping.

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The motion blamed the supermarkets within the county for neglecting their core responsibility of packaging service that they had carried previously at a high cost even before the plastic ban.

The assembly noted that the withdrawal of packaging services had inconvenienced many customers by making them incur additional cost in purchase of packaging bags in the supermarkets.

Mulwale in her motion had noted that it was health hazard for supermarkets to package together detergents and foodstuffs as most buyers cannot afford to buy different packaging bags.

The motion was seconded by Philip Maina (Marama central ward) who said supermarkets were providing packaging bags before the ban on plastics to biodegradable bags they ought to be compelled to resume those services.

 "It is very unfair for customers in the county after shopping to still pay for the extra cost. This is tantamount to fleecing poor Kenyans," Maina said.

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Violet Ananda (nominated) underscored the need for supermarkets to come up with ways of packaging goods without forcing customers to buy.

Ananda urged the national government to revive the Rai Paper Mill (formerly Webuye Paper mill) and put up more paper milling factories so as to continue supplying cheap environmental friendly packaging bags.

The County Executive Member for Trade has since been mandated to implement the resolutions of the motion.

The motion has since received praise from the residents in the county terming it’s a milestone in taming the big supermarkets and protecting the poor.

 “We have fallen for this scams imposed by the supermarkets trying to flees the poor to the last coin. Its good when our MCAs note such injustices,” said Daniel Lukwiso a local.

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