A third attempt to ban the use of plastic bags in Kenya, for the last 10 years, has finally been strictly effected.
The government of Kenya, says anyone found manufacturing, selling or carrying plastic bags will face fines of up to $38,000 or a prison sentence of about four years. The National Environmental and Management Authority has also said that travelers entering Kenya will be required to drop their plastic bags at the airport, but manufactures who use polythene bags to package products are exempted from this rule.
Manufacturers of the bags, have raised concerns that, the ban will affect the employment rate of the country as about 80,000 jobs will be lost, but a court on Friday, rejected the oppositions, saying that Kenyans are estimated to use 24 million plastic bags in a month, which is very harmful to the environment. In its ruling last week, the High court dismissed a case filed by two plastic bag importers urging the government to drop the ban. The court concluded that environmental concerns were more important than commercial interests.
According to BBC’s Anne Soy, most Kenyans are in support of the rule. The government had earlier given a six-month window for adjustment, which expired on Sunday, nevertheless some uncertainties have been raised concerning how consumers will adjust to life without using polythene bags.
In place of plastic bags, the people of Kenyan will now use cotton paper bags. These bags can be used for about 130 times, as compared to plastic bags which can be used for 4 times. The government has said that the ban will help protect the environment and improve sanitation of the country.
credit – peacefmonline.com
Article by Nora Asiedu