ENVIRONMENTALISTS RALLY BEHIND GOVT AS BAN ON USE OF PLASTIC BAGS TAKE EFFECT IN KENYA

NAIROBI, Environmental crusaders want manufactures not to be a hindrance in the implementation of the plastic carrier bags ban which goes into effect in Kenya Monday after attempts by the manufactures to block the ban hit a snag in the courts which maintains that public interest has to override commercial interests.

Environmental activist Christine Wangari is excited about the development, descriving the bags a thorn in the flesh of environmental conservation efforts. Wangari, who is executive director of Multi-Touch International, an environmental conservation organization, believes that the ban will create numerous employment opportunities for millions of Kenyans through innovation of alternative bio-degradable bags.

The plastic paper manufacturing industry, which is looking at huge losses in revenue, has been urged to adapt to the new regulations or else risk legal action. The ban also means a loss of employment for thousands of Kenyans who work in the plastics industry.

Under the ban, business establishments are prohibited from using, offering or selling plastic carrier bags and shopping bags even for meat, poultry and vegetables.

The top enforcement agency, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), gas been sending SMS advisories to Kenyans to inform the general public to comply with the ban. Anyone found violating the law risks being jailed two years or fined up to 2.0 million shillings (about 19,400 US dollars).

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK