IT'S NOW ILLEGAL TO USE, IMPORT AND MANUFACTURE PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in conjunction with National Environment Management Authority among other stakeholders will be holding an Alternative Eco-Friendly Exhibition at the KICC on the 24th and 25th August 2017 for manufacturer, retailers, distributors and the general public.

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The compliance and enforcement technical team deliberated on the interpretation of the plastic ban gazette notice 2356 of 28th February 2017 and wishes to state as follows;

  1. EXEMPTIONS 
  1. Category 1: Plastic carrier bags-

All bags in this category are banned. For clarity these are bags commonly known as “Juala” that are used as secondary packages for items in shops, markets etc. There is no contention in this category of banned plastic as there are NO EXEMPTIONS 

  1. Category 2: Flat bags

Flat bags used for carrying items outside industrial setting e.g. groceries, garbage, are banned. However, in this category EXEMPTION is extended for bags used for industrial primary packaging where the product is direct contact with the plastic and is done at the source. The exemption is subject to:

  1. Extended Producer/User Responsibility and/or effective Take Back Schemes
  2. Legibly and permanently labeled bags to indicate the name of the industry manufacturing the product, the end-user and physical addresses for ease of monitoring, traceability and therefore ease of enforcement intervention.
  • Keeping of inventory/record with the aim of implementing the take back scheme.
  1. Category 3: Flat bags used as Garbage and hazardous (e.g. medical waste, chemicals etc.) waste liners
  1. Hazardous waste liners are exempted so long as they are legibly and permanently labeled (as indicated in 2 ii above) and color-coded and are incinerated together with the waste.
  2. Garbage Liners are also exempted on condition that they are clearly labeled (as indicated in 2 ii above) and have demonstrated effective and efficient Extended Producer/User Responsibility and/or effective Take Back Schemes. The liners will NOT be dumped together with the waste but will be emptied and reused or recycled by the licensed waste collector and transporter (the end user).
  1. Category 4: Duty Free shop bags

The ban applies to the use, manufacture and importation of the banned plastics within Kenya. Since duty free shops at airports are considered to be outside the Kenyan territory, bags used at this point are not affected by the ban. However, any traveler coming into Kenya with duty free bags shall be required to leave the same at the entry points.

  1. ALTERNATIVES

Following the above, the following guideline on the potential alternatives has been agreed with KEBs;

  1. All bags made from non-plastic materials e.g. jute/sisal, Paper, cloth, Papyrus
  2. Woven polypropylene plastic bags (gunny bags)
  3. Non-woven polypropylene plastic bags (cloth-like bags)
  4. Laminated polypropylene bags
  5. Polyolefin fibre bags
  6. 100% biodegradable bags (starch and cassava bags)

The 2 & 3 options are subject to the development of the standard by KEBs whose process has already started. The standard development will be based on the following parameters:-

  • The specific material;
  • Gauge;
  • Tensile Strength and;
  • Basting Strength
  • Toxicity of the material and its safety for use (Heavy metals will also be tested among others).

By Compliance and Enforcement Technical Team

 

The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources through a Gazette Notice No. 2536 banned the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging. The Ban applies to;

  1. Carrier bags constructed with handles and with or without gussets;
  2. Flat bags constructed without handles and with or without gussets

This Ban on Plastic Bags comes into effect on the 28th August 2017. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has since made efforts to unbundle this Ban in form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which can be downloaded from the NEMA website www.nema.go.ke.  Retail outlets, exporters, manufacturers, and various other categories of users are requested to take note of these developments and put in place the necessary alternative arrangements

NEMA therefore wishes to inform all manufacturers, importers and users that plastic bags used for primary industrial packaging are exempted as long as they are used for industrial primary packaging at the source of the product and are not available on sale at the counter or given freely outside the industrial setting. The exemption also includes disposal bags for handling of biomedical and hazardous waste and garbage bin liners. Furthermore, these bags must be clearly labeled (printed) the name of the industry manufacturing the product and the end-user.

In a bid to enhance compliance to this Ban, all manufacturers, importers and users of plastic bags used for primary industrial packaging are hereby notified to obtain Clearance Letters (on application and justification to NEMA) allowing them to continue with the manufacture, importation and use of the above defined plastic bags packaging. The applicants shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Authority, an effective Take Back Schemes (TBS) and/or Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). The clearance letters can be obtained from NEMA-HQs in South C, Popo Road, off Mombasa Road, Nairobi.

 Feel free to direct any queries to;

Director General

National Environment Management Authority

Popo Road, Off Mombasa Road

P.O. Box 67839-00200

NAIROBI

Email: - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telephone: - +254 724 253 398; +254 723 363 010; +254 735 013 046; +254 020-2183718

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The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Prof Judi Wakhungu on 28th February 2017, through a gazette notice No. 2536 banned the use, manufacture and importation of plastic carrier bags constructed with handles and with or without gussets and flat bags constructed without handles and with or without gussets meant for household and commercial packaging with effect from 28th August, 2017. NEMA is implementing the ban.

NEMA is implementing the ban.To set the lead on implementation of this notice, the Authority has been declared a PLASTIC FREE ZONE effective from 31st July 2017. This has been implemented in all NEMA premises-Headquarters and all the 47 NEMA County offices.

In an internal memo to the staff, the NEMA Director General, Prof Geoffrey Wahungu noted that compliance should be adhered to by all staff and clients.

Prof Wahungu further added that it is critical for the Authority to take lead and set an example in implementing the ban. He further added that all waste shall be sorted in accordance to the various waste streams and waste collection bins/skips shall be clearly labelled for that purpose.

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The government has banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags for commercial and household packaging.

This follows a move by the CS Environment Prof Judi Wahungu to gazette on February 28th, 2017 the ban that will see the country eradicate plastic bags menace. The increased use of plastic bags has been the leading cause of environmental degradation.

Speaking during an interview with Citizen TV yesterday, NEMA Director General Prof Geoffrey Wahungu said the banning of plastic carriers will play a critical role in fostering a clean and healthy environment for all.

 

 

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