The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources through a Gazette Notice No.2334 & 2356 banned the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging.
As the Ban on plastic bags came into effect on the 28th of August 2017, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) made great strides in providing clarifications on acceptable alternative options to the plastic carrier bags which were affected by the Ban. It was during this period that the Kenyan market was flooded with Non-woven Polypropylene bags to replace the carrier bags in various retail outlets/stores/shops. The Non-woven bags are known to bear positive characteristics in terms of reusability and durability as opposed to the conventional plastic carrier bags.
However, due to the rising need of the non-woven bags in the market, it has been noted over time that Manufacturers of these bags are producing very ‘low gauge’ poor quality non-woven bags which cannot be used multiple times but are disposed of after single use. This single-usage of these bags will eventually lead to heavy environmental consequences due to poor disposal practices currently being experienced in the country coupled with the lack of requisite infrastructure to sustainably manage these bags.
In view of the above, the Authority directs that ALL manufacturers, importers, suppliers/distributors and users of these Non-woven polypropylene bags should STOP further manufacture, importation, supply and use of these bags in the Kenyan market effective 31ST MARCH 2019 until the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBs) gazettes a standard that will inform the quality of non-woven bags needed in the Kenyan market.
You are therefore advised to comply accordingly, failure to which the Authority will instigate Enforcement Action pursuant to the provisions of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, Cap 387 of the Laws of Kenya.