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NEMA says ban on plastic bags 85pc successful 

George Kebaso and Sandra Wekesa @PeopleDailyKe

National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has called on county governments to play an active in the country’s efforts to have a plastic-free environment by putting in place the requisite infrastructure.

Director general, Prof Geoffrey Wahungu said this will complement the 85 per cent success rate the ban has recorded since the move on single-use plastic bags took effect last year.

“After an evaluation we have recorded 85 per cent as at August 28. However, we have realised there are still loads of plastics in waste sites,” he told People Daily at the agency’s headquarters in Nairobi.

When the ban was formally launched one year ago, on August 28, Nema says it projected a 70 per cent target to be achieved after 12 months and 100 per cent in 24 months. However, to fully actualise these targets the authority feels there is need for closer partnership with stakeholders.

This is especially after learning that thousands of tonnes of plastic bags were buried in dumpsites. Wahungu said this is why the agency wants county governments to play an active role in helping clean the environment of plastic bags during the remaining 12 months.

This, he said would include implementing the National Solid Waste Management Strategy unveiled in 2015. The strategy is meant to guide sustainable solid waste management in Kenya to ensure a healthy, safe and secure environment for all.

Wahungu said governors should make implementation of the master plan a reality through creation of county environment committees. The strategy, he added, seeks to establish a common platform for action between stakeholders to systematically improve waste management in Kenya.

In the notice banning the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging  anyone, including consumers, flouting the ban will face between one and two years jail term or a fine of between Sh2 million and Sh4 million.