It is now official that those found in procession of plastic bags after the 28th of August will either pay 4 million shillings as fine or risk going to jail.
According to Kenya Association of Manufacturers, more than 500,000 direct jobs, 60,000 of them from industries are likely to be lost immediately the ban takes effect with more than 170 companies likely to close down their beginning of next week.
Environment Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli has said that measures have been put in place to deal with both traders and consumers who will contravene with the ban. Early this year, before breaking for elections, the 11th parliament overturned the ban and ordered the environment ministry to relook into the matter as many sectors were going to be affected.
“This ban will not be postponed. We as a Ministry are ready to effect the ban,” said Mr. Sunkuli in interview with journalists. “All those who have factories to manufacture the plastic bags will be our first target. We will make sure they will not make the plastic bags, so that they do not reach the common Kenyan. We will make sure that starting from the factories, there are no plastic bags,” he added.
Even before the ban takes effect, questions are already being raised about the alternative packaging that the government says has been put in place. Most retailers have raised concerns that the alternative packaging is expensive and that the cost will have to be transferred to the consumer. There is also an inadequate supply of the eco-friendly packaging according to most traders.