The ministry of environment has banned the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags effective from September this year.
“It is notified to the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources has with effect from 6 months from the date of this notice banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging,” Environment CS Judi Wakhungu said in a gazette notice dated February 27.
The ban applies to carrier bags (constructed with handles and with or without gussets) and flat bags (constructed without handles and with or without gussets).
Kenyans have welcomed the move, which aims to reduce the chocking plastic bags pollution but there’s little optimism on whether the government will indeed effect the ban of plastic bags this time round, considering that previous efforts have been made in futility in the past.
In 2007, the government had issued a ban against bags below 0.3 millimeters in thickness, a move that never bore any fruits. In January 2011, the National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA) declared another vain ban on below 0.6 millimeters in thickness.
Over 24 million plastic bags are used monthly in Kenya, half of which end up in the solid waste mainstream and now constitute the biggest challenge solid waste management in the country.