No looking back on plastic bags ban, Nema declares

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural resources Prof Judi Wakhungu (second right) with Principal secretary Julius Sunkuli (right) during the launch of Safaricom Eco - Friendly reusable Bags in Nakuru on June 6,2017 .PHOTO:KIPSANG JOSEPH

The ban on the use of plastic bags as from August 28 still remains.

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has maintained that any manufacturers found producing the bags and supermarkets using the bags after the ban date will be prosecuted.

Nema Director General Geoffrey Wahungu yesterday said the ban would not be reversed, and advised the affected to put in place measures to ensure compliance.

"This is to notify the public that the ban issued by the Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu on the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags with effect from August 28 is in force," said Prof Wahungu.

The ban applies to carrier bags with handles and with or without gussets and plat bags without handles and with or without gussets.

"The ban does not apply to flat bags used for industrial packaging so long as they are used at source of the product and are not available at the counter or given freely outside the industrial setting. The bags must be labelled clearly by the manufacturing industry," he said.

Prof Wakhungu, through a gazette notice dated February 28, said the ban would be effective from September. Leading the celebrations to mark the 2017 World Environment Day at Egerton University yesterday, the CS maintained the ban was still on.

Consumers Federation of Kenya Secretary General Stephen Mutoro supported the ban on condition that the public is educated on the matter. "There has been no public participation, there is no legislation to support the ban. The Government is not offering any affordable alternatives and there is no focus on proper disposal," Mr Mutoro said.