Miraa vendors in Embu County have reportedly suffered huge losses following the ban on plastic bags that took effect on Monday, a move they termed a big blow to their businesses.
Embu County which is the biggest producer of the unique type of Miraa known as Muguka in the country witnessed most vendors packaging their commodities into cartons and brown envelopes.
The small business people said the move had denied them effective means of packaging their produce claiming that the cartons were compromising the quality of the highly perishable product.
Speaking at Embu town, the vendors expressed their disappointment by the government for not sensitising them on the effects of the ban and failure to provide for a cheaper packaging option.
The option given by the government for packaging goods is expensive for us to sustain our business and thus we call on the government to allow sustenance of our sources of income by availing cheaper alternatives, said .
But miraa traders are not alone in this predicament as fruit and other horticultural dealers also counted losses over lack of product packaging materials.
As a mother I am worried after being forced to close down my business of vending water melons and pineapples since I cannot use nylon papers anymore as the new packaging materials are not suitable for my products of sale, Esther Mukami said.
The vendors lamented that most of the small scale businesses such as miraa business might shut down for lack of alternative packaging materials.
Martin Mureithi, a Muguka farmer and vendor, claimed that most of his profit was now being used in buying of packaging materials which have turned to be expensive for his business as each dozen costs sh.450 while plastic bags retailed at s5 only.
Supermarkets in Embu are selling the required carrier bags to customers at between Sh.5 to sh50.
Source: Kenya News Agency