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Plastic bags still in use two months after ban

Majority of households across the country still use polythenes bags and flat bags for garbage collection, two months after a ban on plastics was enforced, an independent spot check by People Daily shows.

The ban on plastic bags took effect on August 28, in a bold move that compelled all stakeholders involved in the manufacture, importation and use of the products for commercial and domestic purposes to abide by the legal directive.

Despite the ban, a host of households still use plastic carrier bags, popularly known as ‘juala’ for routine grocery shopping within their residential estates, while a good number of grocery yards are serving regulars using the same bags, with the usage rampant at night.

“We have not finished our stock and we have nowhere to take them, do we throw them away yet we spent a lot of money to purchase them?” asked a retailer in Nairobi’s Kasarani estate.

“We cannot risk using them during the day, we could be arrested by Nema (National Environment Management Authority) officials, so evenings and night hours are safe time for us,” said Wa Kim, another vendor who said she’s yet to deplete her previous stock.

This is despite Nema giving a six-month grace period for necessary adjustments and compliance in a Gazette Notice published on February 28, to enable retailers clear their stocks, and upon its termination bar manufacturers from producing and importing such products.

The authority had early last month also picked inspectors and environment police to check weather manufacturers had complied with the ban as well as impose charges on those flouting the rule. Such a task now seems elusive for the supervisors who have no control over those violating the ban, more so at night.

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