The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has issued a ban on non-woven polypropylene shopping bags.
The environment authority says the introduction of the non-woven polypropylene carrier bags in the market was meant to replace the banned polythene bags.
However, the market has been flooded with low-quality carrier bags which NEMA says cannot be used multiple times and are disposed of after a single use.
“Due to the rising need of the non-woven bags in the market, It has been noted that over time that manufacturers of these bags are producing very ‘low gauge’ poor quality non-woven bags which cannot be used multiple times after but are disposed of after single usage,” said NEMA.
“This single-usage of these bags will eventually lead to heavy environmental consequences due to poor disposal practices currently being experienced in the country and coupled with lack of requisite infrastructure to sustainably manage these bags.”
In the notice on local dailies on Tuesday, the authority directed traders to halt manufacturing, importation, supply, distribution and use of non-woven polypropylene bags from March 31, 2019.
“All the manufacturers, suppliers and users of these non-woven polypropylene should STOP manufacture, supply and use of these bags until the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBs) that will inform the quality of the non- woven bags needed in the Kenyan market,” NEMA ordered.
Failure to comply will attract a fine of not less than Sh2 million and not more than Sh4 million, or imprisonment of a term of not less than one year but not more than four years or to both.