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Reprive for industries as NEMA announces excemption from plastic bags ban

By Joseph Sosi | August 21st 2017

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has granted sections of plastic bag manufacturers and users reprieve a week to the implementation of the plastic bags ban that was to take effect on Monday next week.

NEMA has announced that plastic bags used in the primary industrial packaging shall be exempted from the ban as long as they are not sold or distributed for free away from the industries producing the items they pack.

The acquittal has come as an effort by the authority to tackle concerns that had been raised over the plastics prohibition that was introduced by the Cabinet Secretary for the environment and natural resources Judy Wakhungu through a gazette notice No. 2536.

Th Gazette notice dated February 28, banned two categories of plastic bags; carrier bags and flat bags with or without handles in both categories.

Retail outlets, exporters, manufacturers and other plastic users have been asked to take notice of the exoneration that has come at a time fears gripped the sector over huge economic implications the ban was to cause in the country.

“NEMA wishes to inform all manufacturers, importers and users that plastic bags used for primary industrial packaging are exempted as long as they are used for industrial primary packaging at the source of the product and are not available on sale at the counter or given freely outside the industrial setting,” reads a notice from NEMA.

The ministry through the authority has the commitment to have the compliance to the ban realized as the exemption requires that those who are likely to survive the sanction on plastic bags obtain clearance on application and justification to NEMA.

It is only manufacturers that will have a go ahead from the authority that shall produce or import the bags for the initial packaging at product production.

Industries shall also be excused to use such bags in disposal and handling of biomedical or hazardous wastes and garbage bin liners upon clearance from NEMA.

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