, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – Small scale traders in Nairobi are facing a dilemma over packaging materials following the ban on plastic bags which took effect on Monday, but have said they have no choice but to comply.
Most of those interviewed by Capital FM News, like John Njoroge, said they are facing challenges adapting to the alternative packing papers because it affects their sales.
“Business has been affected since the plastics ban took effect. We were used to using plastic bags in packaging most of the products but now we have to find other ways of doing so without going against the ban,” stated Njoroge.
Most of the traders say they have had to adjust their prices to accommodate the alternative packing papers, which they fear may discourage customers.
“I spend so much on these bags as well as my customers thus an affordable alternative from the government will go a long way in addressing the challenges we are facing in packaging of goods.”
Capital FM News interviewed some of the customers who were armed with their environmentally friendly bags, with many showing support for the plastics ban.
“The move to ban plastic use is a positive one, since it will address the littering challenge currently faced in the country,” noted a customer at the Ngara Market.
Under the new regulations, anyone found with plastic bags risk a jail term of between one to four years or a fine of between Sh2 to Sh4 million.
The ban applies to the use, manufacture, and importation of plastics.
The only exemptions are duty-free shops at airports, which are considered to be outside Kenya’s territory for travellers who have checked in for departure.
On Tuesday, the Green Belt Movement lauded the Ministry of Environment on the move to implement the ban further urging it to stretch the ban and touch on the use of plastic bottles as they are equally a menace to the environment.