Finally, Kenya has banned the use of plastic bags. The ruling was effective as of August 28th 2017 . Kenya is just but one of the many countries worldwide to have come up with this rule.
According to a world survey, China banned the use of plastic bags in 2008 , Bangladesh in 2002. Other African countries that have also outlawed plastic carrier bags, include- Rwanda, Mauritania and Eritrea. The Kenyan government claims that the ban will help conserve the environment whereas manufacturers argue that close to 80,000 people, will be unemployed. If one is found with the plastic bags, they could suffer a fine of $38000 or an alternative of 4 years in jail.
Kenyans seem to be complying with the ban but few vendors have been seen at the market places still attending to their customers as usual wrapping food with the plastic carrier bags.
Kamau Wathenge, owns a small butchery in the outskirts of the Kenyan capital. During an interview with a local broadcast station he asked “What are we supposed to wrap the meat to our customers with? The government should offer alternatives and not leave us in the dark.”
Kenyan residents seem to be getting used to carrying traditional bags made of sisal known as ‘Kiondo’ or bags made from other material other than the plastic bags. Some even walk from shops/kiosks holding their shopping with bare hands for the fear of colliding with Nairobi County Government officials. However, the National Environmental Management Authority extended the ban for another 2 weeks as reported by local broadcast channels.
The banning of plastic bags is an amazing idea because disposable plastic bags are very likely to end up as litter, and can cause a lot of harm to ecosystems and food chains, as well as clogging storm drains. The change starts with you. Let us make the world a better place for the generation to come.