Vendors warned on plastic bag use

Kiambu County National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) director Stephen Kimutu has cautioned vegetable, milk and fruit vendors in the area to stop playing hide and seek games with environment officers and use recommended packaging bags.

Speaking to KNA in his office on Monday, Mr. Kimutu said that the vendors ought to understand that the ban on plastic paper bags was real and learn to use the bio friendly ones to avoid unnecessary conflict with environmental enforcement department.

The director revealed that among the businesses they had raided in impromptu checks in Kikuyu, Uthiru ,Wangige and Juja they found vendors still using the prohibited polythene papers.

He cited an incident where they raided one of the towns together with the police and warned the sellers against defying the ban but immediately after leaving the area the vendors resumed using them without making efforts to get alternatives.

Mr. Kimutu regretted that it was unfortunate to apprehend an elderly person who was still using the polythene papers adding soon they would crack the whip if they did not stop using them in their businesses.

He cautioned that the consequences would be dire saying that they should not blame anyone should they be arrested after the verbal warnings were over.

The director said that all the companies that were manufacturing the plastic bags had been closed down and urged them to use the bio friendly carrier bags.

Mr. Kimutu observed that 20 years ago the country was not clogged up with plastic carrier bags but their effect on the environment led to their ban as they were now a manace.

Nancy Wanja a Kiambu resident said that she has bought several items from the vegetable vendors but they were always cautious while using the banned plastic bags as they warned the carrier.

She added that the vendors tend to tell the customers that they were only using it for that particular day and the person ought to hide it and make sure that next time he or she carries the new carrier bag but the vendors keep on repeating .

Alice Chege a vegetable vendor in Kiambu town said that she only uses the plastic bags as the new packaging were not that good for the wet vegetables as they can easily be torn if kept for long .

Source: Kenya News Agency