Government keen on implementing plastics ban

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has stopped licensing manufacturers of plastic bags ahead of the implementation of the gazette notice of the ban from August 28 in a move aimed at eliminating use of plastics in the country for a cleaner environment.

Albert Nyangechi, representing KEBS Managing Director, said licensed manufacturers of plastic carrier and flat bags have their licenses valid until September to enable them clear their stocks.

Addressing Environment stakeholders at Egerton University during a stake holders panel on application of plastics, Nyangechi said the move that seeks to eliminate production of plastics will help in expediting the national quest to eradicate use of plastics which he says are increasingly becoming hazardous to human and animal health.

In the well-attended forum steered under the banner ‘I support the ban on plastic carrier bags’,Nyangechi said the institution is scouting Asia and Europe for innovators and investors to pitch viable ideas on plastic waste management and on feasible alternative biodegradable material to replace plastics.

He said the two continents that have successfully managed use and disposal of plastics will be invaluable in the war against plastics by providing best practices that Kenya can learn from to eradicate the plastic menace.

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Director General, Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu, called for complementary effort from citizens in the war against use of plastic carrier bags, saying this coupled with a supportive political good will make the campaign effective.

He observed that plastic waste management is fast turning out to be a festering problem in the countrys main urban areas that have an average collection of plastic waste standing at a staggering 100 tons daily with the countrys capital Nairobi, leading with a whooping 2,400 tons daily against a global daily collection average of 110 million tons.

Scientists studying the subject matter in recent years have reported that Plastic waste disposed in sensitive ecological areas like marine and residential areas take a heavy toll on inhabitants and the effect is keenly felt by human who report sobering annual infections of respiratory tracts and strains of cancer.

Environment Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Judy Wakhungu, announced the ban three months ago through a gazette notice and a deliberate policy against application of light plastic in the country but this development was met with stiff opposition from manufacturers and a cross section of politicians who questioned the legitimacy of the time frame.

Source: Kenya News Agency