Ban on non-woven bags takes effect, NEMA warns of arrests

Non-woven polypropylene shopping bags
Non-woven polypropylene shopping bags

Wholesale and retail traders have been left with huge stocks of the now banned carrier bags by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).

In a spot check by Citizen TV, some traders told of stock held in high seas while consumers complained of high cost of alternative bags in the market.

The crackdown by the environmental authority over the polypropylene carrier began on Monday with NEMA insisting that it would not go back on the order despite public outcry.

“The penalties are equal to those of banned plastic bags. We are not going to tell them our strategies,” said NEMA Director General Geoffrey Wahungu.

But even with the one-month notice that was issued by NEMA, several traders insist they have millions of pieces of the now banned carrier with them that they are yet to dispose off.

“These bags we have already purchased them, we need to sell them so that we make back the money that we spent on them,” says a wholesaler, John Mwangi.

Ordinary users on the other hand say the only available alternatives in the market are costly as they sell for between Ksh.50 and Ksh.70.

The non-woven bags replaced plastic carrier bags about two years ago.

A press conference called by NEMA to offer guidance to Kenyans on the ban was cancelled at the last minute without any explanation.

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Story By Faizal Ahmed
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