NEMA: Plastic Bags Ban Still in Force


The Environment Watchdog the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has reminded Kenyans that the ban on plastic bags is still in force.

This follows laxity on the part of some Kenyans who have been using the banned single use plastic bags.

A message from NEMA confirms that the officers are still enforcing the ban and anyone found in possession of them will be prosecuted.

“18 people were arrested yesterday in Wakulima Market and Roysambu in Nairobi County after they were found in possession of banned plastic bags. This was during the ongoing joint crackdown. The offenders were arraigned at Nairobi City Court and were fined Kshs. 50,000 each for knowingly and unlawfully using banned plastic carrier bags.”

Plastic pollution is among one of the biggest threats facing humanity today. While Kenya’s government has generally shown commitment towards a plastic free future, there has been laxity when it comes to implementation of the same.

READ ALSO: NEMA Suspends Registration of Environmental Assessment Experts

Cooperation across the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) agents in different counties is critical in ensuring that all loopholes are sealed.

On February 27, 2017, the Environment Ministry banned the use of thin plastic carrier bags through a gazette notice.

The ban came into effect in August of that year.

Possession of such plastics attracts a fine of Sh2 million to Sh4 million, or a jail term of one to two years, or both.

Before 2017, about 100 million non biodegradeable plastic bags were used in Kenyan supermarkets every year, with severe consequences for the environment.

For instance, a study supported by Nema in 2017 showed more than 50 per cent of livestock had ingested plastics.

Despite the ban, however, plastic bags are still being smuggled into the country.

It is suspected they come from Tanzania, Somalia and Uganda.

The authority has been facing challenges in Garissa, Mandera, Moyale, Busia, Taita Taveta, Namanga and other border posts.

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