NAIROBI, KENYA: Seven traders were arrested at the Isebania border town in Migori County for being in possession of banned plastic bags
In an operation led by Migori county National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officers in collaboration with the Police on Tuesday, the traders were arrested while using the banned bags to package their products.
While addressing the press on Thursday, the Migori County Director of Environment (NEMA) James Siaji and County Environment Officer Juddy Susan Arieko said they were on a routine inspection when they found the traders using the banned bags.
Arieko said that they suspect most of the plastic bags sold at the border are from Tanzania.
“The porous border has been a major hindrance in fighting against illegal plastic bags as they come from across the illegal routes to evade arrest,” Said Arieko.
Ms Arieko said that seven arrested traders were small scale charcoal dealers and a wholesaler based at Isebania border of Migori County.
“Controlling the plastic ban along the border has a lot of challenges because of the porous borders, we will not relent with crackdown,” Arieko said.
The Government has maintained its stand on the ban through Gazette notice number 2356 made on February 28, 2017 by Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu, despite opposition from manufacturers.
The notice banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging to be effected on August 28, 2017.
Anyone, including consumers, flouting the ban will face between one and two years jail term or a fine of between Sh2 million and Sh4 million.
According to National Environment Management Authority (Nema), the papers contribute 9 per cent of total waste and create over 90 per cent of the environmental degradation.