The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has issued a stern warning to traders who are still using plastic bags.The authority issued the warning amid an intensified crackdown on the offenders in various parts of the country.
“There will be no more warnings, no orders, we are going for prosecution in courts for the offenders using the banned plastic bags,” Nema Ag Deputy Director of field operations Titus Simiyu has said.
“The Environmental Management and Coordination Act stipulates heavy fines for the offenders. Kenyans should stop using the bags.”
Simiyu spoke when he led a team of enforcement officials on a crackdown exercise on the banned plastic bags in Busia county.The crackdown left 2,071 pieces of the banned plastics seized and six traders arrested after being found using the banned bags.
The six according to Nema will be arraigned in court today.Those found with banned plastics risk paying a fine of between Sh2 million and Sh4 million, or a jail term of between one and two years, or both.
A similar exercise in Nakuru county led to the arrest of 10 traders in Njoro market who were found selling their merchandise in the banned plastic carrier bags.Nema continues to call on the general public to desist from using the banned plastics.
The Ministry of Environment banned the use of plastic carrier bags through a gazette notice of February 27, 2017 as the effect came in August of that year.
Before 2017, about 100 million plastic bags were used in Kenyan supermarkets every year, with severe consequences to the environment.