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Nema raids market, arrests 11 for using banned plastic bags

Some of the plastic carrier bags which were confiscated at Rodi Kopany. Eleven people were arrested. [James Omoro, Standard]

Eleven people accused of causing environmental degradation were arrested in Homa-Bay on Tuesday.

National Environment Management Authority (Nema) and police officers accused the 11, including nine traders, of using banned plastic bags in Rodi Kopany town.

Nema officials also impounded 300kg of plastic carrier bags.

Director of Nema Josiah Nyandoro said some small-scale traders were still using plastic bags to pack goods.

“The traders use the bags to pack fruits, vegetables and other food items. They will face prosecution,” Mr Nyandoro said.

The other two, the driver of a lorry and his assistant, were arrested because they did not have documents allowing them to transport waste. “The lorry has an open back meant to carry sand. It was not designed to transport wastes,” he said.

The suspects are expected to be arraigned and charged with their respective offences this week.

Nema banned manufacturing, distribution, sale, and use of single-use carrier bags in February 2017. The ban took effect on August 28 that year.

Nyandoro said plastic bags posed serious health threats to animals, land and humans.