, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – Starting today, Kenya will begin a journey of being plastic bags free following the total ban on all plastic bags by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in conjunction with the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
But it is not the only country to do so.
Kenya will join about 30 countries which have either passed the law and implemented it or passed the law with the intention of implementing it.
In Africa, Botswana introduced a levy on Plastic Bags ten years ago, while in 2014 Cameroon outlawed disposable plastic bags.
Eritrea banned plastic bags in 2005, while Mauritania banned the use, manufacture, and importation of plastic bags from 2013.
In 2016, Morocco, Africa’s second largest consumer of plastic bags, affected a law banning the use of plastic bags.
Rwanda completely banned plastic bags in 2008 as part of its Vision 2020 plan for sustainability. Tanzania, on the other hand, introduced a nationwide ban on plastic bags in 2006 while in March this year; Tunisia introduced a ban on plastic bag distribution in supermarkets.
In South Africa, the bag levy was introduced in 2004 although they were never banned.
In 2007, Uganda introduced a ban of lightweight plastic bags which came into effect that year. However, the ban was never implemented.
There are a number of Asian countries that have either imposed a total ban or put levies on plastic bags. These include Bangladesh imposed a strict ban, China also imposed a ban although with limited success while HongKong introduced a bag levy.
India called for a ban even though enforcement remains a problem. Others in Asia to have banned or imposed a levy, whether successful or not include Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Myanmar and Taiwan.
In Europe, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdome –Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England are some that made attempts to face out plastic bags in one way or another.
The United States does not have a national plastic bag fee or ban but states such as California and territories such as American Samoa and Puerto Rico have banned disposable bags.
“Kenya is taking decisive action to remove an ugly stain on its outstanding natural beauty,” said Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment. “Plastic waste also causes immeasurable damage to fragile ecosystems – both on land and at sea – and this decision is a major breakthrough in our global effort to turn the tide on plastic.”