NEMA Effects Ban on Plastic Garbage Bags for Organic Waste Collection

July 9, 2024

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has enforced a ban on the use of plastic garbage bags and garbage bin liners, requiring all organic waste collection to exclusively use 100% biodegradable alternatives starting from Monday, July 8, following a notice issued on April 8, 2024.

RELATED – NEMA Outlaws Use of Plastic Garbage Bags and Bin Liners

This directive allowed a 90-day compliance window for all public and private entities, including County Governments and licensed waste service providers, to transition to biodegradable bags.

The directive mandates that all garbage must now be carried in biodegradable garbage bags, with county governments and licensed private waste service providers instructed to supply these environmentally friendly options to their clients.

NEMA emphasized, “All organic waste generated by households, private sector and public sector institutions, private and public functions and events; shall strictly be segregated and placed in 100% biodegradable garbage bags/bin liners only.”

This initiative is in line with Section 12 of the Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022, which requires public and private sector entities to segregate non-hazardous waste into organic and non-organic fractions.

Segregated waste must be deposited in properly labeled and color-coded receptacles, bins, containers, and bags, and waste service providers are obligated to collect, handle, and transport segregated waste.

The ban on plastic garbage bags and bin liners represents a significant shift away from conventional plastics, which were prohibited in 2017 under Gazette notice Nos. 2334 & 2356. This prohibition encompassed plastic carrier bags and flat bags used for commercial and household packaging due to their substantial environmental impact.

NEMA reiterated that the 2017 ban on plastic carrier bags and flat bags extends to garbage bags and bin liners.

Violators of this ban face penalties of up to a four-year jail term or a fine of Kes.4 million, underscoring the seriousness of compliance with these environmental regulations.

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