Kenya Bureau of Standards Kick Starts Ban on Plastic Bags

April 24, 2017

A month after the government officially banned the use of plastic bags, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has taken the first steps to ensure the ban takes full effect.

Companies that manufacture plastic paper bags will no longer be issued with permits, the authority has said.

The authority has also announced that the existing licences will be cancelled.

Kebs Managing Director Charles Ongwae said the licences will be declared null and void once the legal notice on the use of plastic bags comes into effect.

He added that Kebs would implement the Ministry of Environment guidelines and order on the bags. “The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) will implement the legal notice, but on our part, we will withdraw the permits we have issued,” he said.

Addressing the press at a Nakuru hotel, Mr Ongwae noted that the authority would monitor all entry points into the country to prevent plastic bags from coming in.

In a Kenya Gazette notice dated 28th February 2017, the environment and natural resources ministry banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging.

Cabinet secretary Judi Wakhungu directed that the ban will come into effect 6 months from the notice date.

Plastic bags have been a huge environmental hazard in the country, and are so often blamed for blocked drainage leading to flooding.

Some supermarkets eg. Nakumatt have in the last few years been encouraging the move from plastic bags, by offering reusable heavy duty carry bags.

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