Environment Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli has said there are alternatives for plastic bags, ahead of the ban set to be put into effect on August 28th. During a press briefing on polythene bags ban awareness, the PS said there are 40 manufacturers who are set to provide alternatives to plastic bags, “We have 40 manufacturers who will exhibit to Kenyans the alternative packaging material. They have gone through vetting by NEMA, and they’ve looked at the environmental impacts before approval. Only eligible ones have been approved for exhibition, and those are the ones who will be licensed for distribution in the country,” he said.
The PS said the alternative packaging material will be affordable, given that polythene bags are used even by vendors in the markets. “We have a wide range of alternatives and our interest is to make sure they are affordable even to the rural people,” he said, affirming that the government has strived to ensure that the ones who will be licensed are affordable to a large population of Kenyans.
PS Sunkuli said that efforts to create awareness and educate the public concerning the ban and solid waste management, “In terms of awareness we have enlisted the use of vernacular radio stations to spread the word,” he said, “The Ministry recently established a strong department of education for sustainable development and it’s currently developing a scheme for education for the public not only on plastic ban but on entire solid waste management.” He added that currently there is a gap in awareness but through efforts on social and electronic media, there will be an improvement.