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Nema denies claims police searching cars for plastic bags

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has defended itself against claims doing rounds on social media that it has started carrying out swoops in cars on order to confiscate polythene bags.

On Monday, the first day that the ban on plastic carrier bags came into effect, there were online messages claiming that police was stopping and inspecting cars for the now outlawed packaging material.

The authority said those circulating the message were needlessly instilling fear, adding that it has not sanctioned any actions to stop and inspect private or public vehicles for plastic bags.

It is also claimed that the same officers are arresting members of the public found with the banned bags and soliciting bribes in order to set them free.

“Our attention has been drawn to information circulating on social media networks claiming that Nema officials are colluding with police officers to flag down private and public vehicles in search of plastic bags,” a statement from the environmental authority sent to newsrooms Monday evening said.

“Nema officials are obliged to identify themselves in the course of their work,” added the statement.

Nema said its director general and the inspector-general of police are in constant communication and coordinating what the authority will be doing.

“However the police is aiding the Nema officials to access business premises for inspections,” said Nema’s Director General Geoffrey Wahungu.

They say Kenya has come of age in environmental consciousness.

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