EAC advised to unite in war on plastics - Daily Nation

Cooperate to eliminate plastic bags, EAC members advised

Wednesday February 14 2018

plastic bags ban in Kenya

Hawkers at Wakulima Market in Nakuru County sell reusable eco-friendly carrier bags on August, 27, 2017, a day before the ban on plastic bags took effect. Environment PS Charles Sunkuli has said the ban in Kenya had seen an 80 per cent drop in the use of the bags. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By WINNIE ATIENO
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Environment Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli has said collaboration between East African Community members would help eliminate plastic bags.

“During a meeting of Environment ministers in Arusha last week, we agreed that cooperation is needed if we are to eliminate the menace,” Mr Sunkuli told the Nation on the side-lines of the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook forum at Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa that ended Tuesday.

The PS said the ban in Kenya had seen an 80 per cent drop in the use of the bags.

“The environment is no longer filled with the pollutants,” he added.

Mr Sunkuli said ministry officials would appear in Parliament to explain the ban, adding that jobs had been created since August 2017 when the law came into effect.

PETITION AT HIGH COURT

“Jobs for women and youth involved in manufacturing of non-plastic materials like sisal and papyrus have been created. Others are making gunny bags and biodegradable and fibre bags,” he said.

Asked about companies still manufacturing plastic bags, Mr Sunkuli said he was not aware of any. 

In Mombasa, County National Environment Management Authority director Stephen Wambua and inspectorate chief Mohammed Amir have been conducting crackdowns on businesses flouting the law, particularly at Kongowea market.

They said since the ban on plastic bags took effect, the tourism city had become “aesthetically clean”.

“We are working with Nema to identify sources of the flat bags,” Mr Amir said.

But the ban is yet to take effect in grocery markets.

In August 2017, the then Environment CS Judi Wakhungu spearheaded the ban on plastics.

A petition filed at the High Court blocking implementation of the law was later dismissed.