Plastic bags, popularly known as paper bags were banned by Environment CS Judy Wakhungu back in March.
Starting September, people will now be required to use carton bags and other environmentally friendly forms of bags. Those found culpable of owning plastic bags will serve a term no shorter than one year or a fine of no less than Sh2 million.
Is it that serious? You damn right it is.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu has said that the extreme measures are part of Government efforts to ensure that the ban would be fully implemented.
While speaking at the United Nations head office in Nairobi on Thursday June 22nd, the CS said the penalties won’t only be to individuals but also to manufacturers.
Director General Geoffrey Wahungu added.
“We are working towards domestication of the law for small offenders and hoping for assistance from the counties in implementing it.”
Okay Sir, we heard you.
Kenya now joins Rwanda as the only two countries in the region which have effectively banned the use of plastic bags.
Maybe the word ‘effectively’ applies to Rwanda alone because it is yet to see if the Kenyan ban will work.
At Kigali International Airport, there is a sign that warns visitors that plastic bags will be confiscated. Agents from the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) always remove plastic wrapping off negligent travelers’ suitcases. Throughout the country, businesses have been forced to replace plastic carrier bags with paper ones.