Plastic bag pile

Kenya’s Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu has announced a ban on the use of plastic bags in the country.

‘It is notified to the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources has with effect from 6 months from the date of this notice banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging,’ Ms. Wakhungu was quoted as saying.

“Over 100 million plastic bags are distributed by supermarkets in Kenya, and many of them end up in huge piles at dump sites and litter the streets of Nairobi, the country’s capital.” this shows Kenya is taking decisive action to remove an ugly stain on its outstanding natural beauty,’ a release indicates.

Kenya has tried to ban polythene bags twice before, the first being In 2007 where the government issued a ban against bags below 0.3 millimetres in thickness, (0.11 inches) which failed. Then in 2011 the National Environmental Management Agency declared a ban on bags below 0.6 millimetres in thickness but it too was not widely implemented.

Fifteen other African countries have either adopted or proposed such bans including Rwanda, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mauritania and Malawi.

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