Why polythene bags still available in parts of Kenya

Director General for NEMA Professor Geoffrey Wakhungu (left) and Busia County Commissioner Jacob Narengo address media after the seizure of the 22,000 pieces of plastic bags in the county
BUSIA, KENYA: Cross border smuggling is undermining the ban on polythene bags, top official at the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has said.

The government banned use and selling of the plastic bags in 2017. However, sale of the bags have continued.

Unscrupulous traders are still buying the bags in Uganda and Tanzania where they have not been banned and sneaking them into the country.

Vegetable and fruit vendors in Busia are said to be sourcing the bags from dealers in Uganda and using them to wrap the vegetables and fruits.

Speaking in Busia after witnessing the seized 22, 000 pieces of plastic bags, the Director General of NEMA Geoffrey Wakhungu disclosed that Malaba and Vanga are the notorious borders used in smuggling of the outlawed bags.

The bags were confiscated on Wednesday by police officers operating the roadblock at Korinda. Professor Wakhungu said NEMA will work closely with law enforcement officers to ensure that smuggling of bags from Uganda and Tanzania is defeated.

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Judy WakhunguNEMA