Plastic makers fail to suspend ban

Friday August 25 2017

A woman sorts out plastic bags after washing them for re-use in Nairobi on June 24, 2014. A petition by Nakuru residents says plastic bags have interfered with the proper functioning of drains and sewer lines. PHOTO | SIMON MAINA | AFP

A woman sorts out plastic bags after washing them for re-use in NairobI. Ban on carrier plastic bags take effect on Monday. PHOTO | SIMON MAINA | AFP 

By ABIUD OCHIENG
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Players in the plastic industry have suffered a setback after the High Court declined to suspend implementation of the gazette notice stopping use of carrier bags.

Environment and Land Court Judge Bernard Mweresa Eboso on Friday said public interest tilts in favour of not granting the orders sought.

MENACE

Plastic manufacturers and importers wanted the notice by the Environment ministry, which takes effect on Monday next week, temporarily stopped until their case is heard and determined.                       

But in his decision, the judge said the notice is intended to control plastic menace in the environment.

"Granting the orders sought will severally undermine the protection of the environment while serving commercial interests," Justice Eboso said.

Though the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) had claimed they were not adequately consulted before implementation of the notice, the judge said a casual look at the documents filed in court demonstrated there were sufficient consultations.

PARTICIPATION

The government and the plastic manufacturers have been in consultation since 2007 on the need to eradicate plastic waste from the environment.                       

The court said players in in plastic sector were adequately represented.                       

He said the question whether criteria for public participation was met is something to be raised at the time  of hearing.    

READ: CS: Plastic bags ban benefits exceed burdens                    

The judge said section 86 of the Environment Management and Coordination Act empowers the Cabinet secretary to formulate policies aimed at conserving the environment.                       

The case will be heard on September 21.