Plastic bags ban taking effect in West Pokot

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NEMA has seized more than 500 Kg of plastic carrier bags in West Pokot County
NEMA has seized more than 500 Kg of plastic carrier bags in West Pokot County

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has seized more than 500 Kilograms of plastic bags in West Pokot County following the national ban that took effect on August 28.

The authority together with the County’s Ministry of Health and Kenya police Service has initiated inspections in supermarkets across all major towns like Makutano, Kacheliba, Chepareria and Alale in the whole County and a number of notices have been issued in a bid to ensure there is compliance with the new law.

Speaking in Kapenguria, County NEMA Director Mr. Christopher Muchiri called upon all wholesalers and polythene bag makers that were dealing with the plastics bags supply to declare all their remaining stock.

He said residents in the County are using alternative materials with over 90% compliance recorded.

Muchiri warned that any defiance and noncompliance shall be dealt with using legal processes provided in EMCA 1999 cap 387.

“Traders, consumers, retailers, and manufacturers who will be found using and or distributing importing plastic carrier bags will be liable, upon conviction to the fine between two and four million shillings or a jail term of between two years or both such penalties.”

He cited that no arrests have been made but traders should’ve started using alternative bags already, “Traders are required to replace such products with alternatives like brown papers, aluminium foils and other recommended materials.”

“The new law will ensure a cleaner, safer, and healthy environment and more so ensure the reduction of carbon produced by these products when burnt. Plastics generally have environmental impacts including causing cancer, blocking sewerage pipes and threatening marine life,” he said.

He added that NEMA in conjunction with Kapematt has established a drop-off point at Kapenguria supermarket. “People are encouraged to drop off the banned plastic bags at the drop-off points for recycling,” he said.