National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) through its Director General Geoffrey Wakhungu has ordered all plastic bag manufacturers to clear their stock before the 28th of August 2017 breathing confusion in manufacturers who had sighed a sigh of relief after the demand by the National Parliament to reverse the ban.
NEMA has said that all the plastic bags that will still be in stock after the 20th of August will be treated as garbage further warning that manufacturers who will not adhere to the call will face criminal charges for non-compliance with the ban on plastic bags.
Last month, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers went to parliament to seek its intervention in the imminent ban. The committee in charge of Environment and Natural Resources opposed the plastic ban and directed that the National Assembly revokes the gazette notes by the Cabinet Secretary of Environment Judi Wakhungu. The committee noted that parliament had not approved the notice as stated in the Statutory Instruments Act of 2013 in which all notices are to receive a parliamentary approval.
According to NEMA, after the 28th August, the retailers and manufacturers who will be found using and distributing nylon and plastic paper bags will be liable to a fine of between two million shillings and four million shillings or a jail term of between one and two years or both penalties.
While giving its finding on the matter early this month, the Parliamentary Committee in charge of Environment and Natural Resources said that the cost value of the plastic manufacturing sector is in excess of Ksh 88 billion and the direct employments created by the plastic sector is over 2.89 percent of the Kenyan employees which is approximately 60,000 personnel nationwide and their annual turnover is over 100 billion shillings. Thus, “The ban imposed by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment does not resolve the problem identified by the experts or create a sustainable approach to addressing the problem.”