No more warnings as NEMA cracks on plastic bags

The ban came into effect in August same year with a penalty of between Sh2 million and Sh4 million, or a jail term of between six months and two years, or both was issued for those found with the banned plastic bags.

The authority's Deputy Director Field Operations Titus Simiyu said the single-use plastic bags were slowly re-emerging on the shelves and continued to pose a threat to the environment more than five years after they were banned.

He said the ongoing operations target to wipe out the plastic bags, which are believed to be finding their way into the country illegally.

According to him, the ban is still in place and anybody contravening the regulations risks a fine of Sh2 million, two years in jail or both.

"There will be no more warnings, no orders; we are going for prosecution in courts for the offenders using the banned plastic bags. EMCA stipulates heavy fines for the offenders. Kenyans should stop using the bags," Simiyu warned.

He spoke in Busia where six traders were arrested and 2,071 pieces of the banned bags seized.

So far over 30 traders have been arrested in the ongoing crackdown across the country with the authority maintain they will be presented in court and proceed to full prosecution.

One of the traders who was arrested by NEMA implementation officers in Nakuru. [NEMA]

While pleading with members of the public to desist the use of the banned bags, Simiyu said some 10 traders were arrested in Njoro market.

"In Eldoret, our officers unearthed a syndicate of major supplier of the banned plastic bags in various parts of the country including Nairobi. The bags are not approved for primary packaging," he said.

According to him, the syndicate was unearthed by one of the suspect who was arrested in possession of the bags inside a mini-supermaket.

The suspect volunteered to take the officers to the supplier in exchange for his freedom.

Another seven traders were arrested in at Ololulunga Market.

In Kisumu, the enforcement oifficers arrested eight traders with 16,000 pieces of the banned plastic bag in Ahero.

Simiyu said the officers will continue to enforce the ban to ensure a clean and safe environment across the countrywide.