NAIROBI, KENYA: Two years into the ban on plastic bags, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has moved to implement the ban on non-woven carrier bags.
Non-woven carrier bags were a stop-gap measure to help in the absence of plastic bags but Nema now says their quality has been compromised.
The bags will be replaced with carrier bags made from reed, cotton, sisal, recycled plastic material, recycled paper, papyrus, woven plastic bags, hyacinth, and hard plastic.
Prof Geoffrey Wahungu, the director general of Nema reiterated that this was a move to implement the existing ban.
Wahungu said, “We had required that the non-woven bags be phased out by April 1, 2019, because they just served since there were no alternatives but now we have approved what should be used.”
This move comes after a series of meetings with the Kenya Association Manufacturers (KAM) and the Kenya Retail Traders Association; the two groups had requested for a grace period before the ban on the bags takes effect.
Wahungu said that the influx of the carrier bags that are currently in use was due to the fact that there were no standards during the onset of the ban in August 2017. This reality necessitated the need to have standard and approved carrier bags.