NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – Plastic bottle manufacturers have until the end of April to install collection points failure to which a ban will be issued on the production, sale and the use of plastic bottles.
National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Board Chair John Konchellah said the authority is in the process of drafting a gazette notice that will see the ban implemented by end of April if manufacturers will not have complied.
“Plastic bottles have been forming a huge percentage of solid waste scattered in the environment,” noted Konchellah.
“We have been engaging stakeholders over the last two months in the manufacturing industry who have promised to start recycling companies to deal with the waste, failure to which adequate measures will be taken.”
Ministry of Environment data shows that approximately 50 million bottles are used countrywide annually.
Local green produce markets have also been put on the spot, with the authority stating that the traders are flouting the plastic bags ban.
“Although the ban was successfully implemented, there are cartels working along borders. The authority had earlier complained that the ban was facing a challenge of plastics bags from Uganda,” said NEMA CEO Geoffrey Wahungu.
He added that the markets risk closure if they fail to enforce the ban on plastic bags.
On March 14, Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu announced that Kenya will ban plastic bags on September 1, 2017, a move that was quickly appreciated by a majority of people praising her for taking a huge step in the right direction of protecting the country’s environment and natural resources which was quickly being eroded by waste.
Plastic bag users face a fine of between Sh2 million and Sh4 million, a jail term of between one and two years, or both.