Next week plastic bags ban still on – Gov’t

Next week plastic bags ban still on - Gov't
A dumpsite full of plastic bags.

The Government has reiterated that the plastic bags ban is still on and will take effective on Monday, August 28, 2017.

The Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Prof. Judy Wakhungu, now says that the use, manufacture and even the importation of plastic bags will be an offense as from the said date.

According to Ms. Wakhungu, any person who contravenes with the ban and found in possession of plastic bags will be punished in accordance with the law.

“I wish to let all Kenyans know that the clock is ticking towards the effective date of plastic ban in two weeks time. I urge you to comply with the requirements of the ban and lets all work together to ensure a clean and healthy government,” said Ms Wakhungu.

It is believed that those who will disregard the ban will be contravening the powers conferred to the Ministry under Section 3 and 86 of the Environmental Management and Natural Resources Act, and will be slapped with a fine of not less than Ksh 2 million and not more than Ksh 4 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years or both.

This is the third attempt to ban plastic bags in Kenya. In 2007, Kenya made a less ambitious attempt to curb the use of plastic bags; it, unsuccessfully, sought to ban the manufacture and import of plastic bags up to 0.03 millimeters in thickness and imposed a universal 120% tax on plastic bag use.

Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General, Dr. Julius Muia, also warned that sustained use of plastic bags will create more harm to the environment and lead to diverse economic effects.

Both local and international environmental activists have lauded the government for the move, with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) emphasizing on the need for countries to implement sustainable development goals part of which is to protect and conserve the environment.

However, the ban has been met with disdain among different affected stakeholders, with a series of cases battling with the ban filed by businesspersons-whose businesses will be much affected by this ban.

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