NEMA Sends Out Officers to Ensure Plastic Bags Ban Compliance

  • The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in collaboration with the police has started an operation to ensure the plastic bag ban is being complied with countrywide.

    The officers will make sure that the plastic bags are not available for sale at the counter or given freely outside industrial settings.

    NEMA noted that they had sent eight teams to kick start the operation in Nairobi, however, the full implementation of the plastic paper ban will begin on Tuesday. 

    Speaking in Nairobi, NEMA Director General Geoffrey Wahungu said they will roll out civic education targeting the “kadogo economy” before enforcing the law on consumers.

    Wahungu said the law would be enforced with the assistance of the county governments and NEMA inspectors, whose names are already gazetted.

    “We are asking members of the public not to be worried because most of them are in a dilemma. We will first give them adequate notice to get alternatives,” Wahungu stated.

    “Our officers will have Nema uniforms and Nema cards for identification," he added.

    All manufacturers and importers had been given until Monday to declare all their remaining stock to NEMA for necessary action.

    Consumers will be forced to embrace eco-friendly substitutes to avoid attracting a fine of between Sh2 Million and Sh4 Million, or a jail term of between one and two years, or both.

    On Friday, the High Court of Kenya dismissed an application seeking to temporarily suspend the government-initiated ban on plastic bags.

    Environment and Land Court Judge Bernard Mweresa noted that environment protection overrides commercial interests, hence, the ban would continue as scheduled.

    Earlier on, the Environment Ministry issued a clarification noting that the plastic bag ban will not immediately affect garbage bags and those used in packaging chemicals.

    “Waste bin liners, primary food packaging are some of the plastics falling in the exempt category," Environment Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli stated.