Clarity needed on plastics ban

As the clock ticks to the August 28 deadline when the Environment ministry will implement a ban on polythene bags, the authorities must ensure they provide proper public information for the move to achieve its desired results unlike previous failed attempts.

Since the February 28 Kenya Gazette notice allowing six months to phase out polythene bags, many pertinent questions remain unanswered despite the good intentions to protect the environment.

We recognise recent efforts by the National Environment Management Authority in posting updates online.

However, and considering the hefty penalties that will be imposed on offenders, there is need to reach all sections of the population through a sustained campaign using various media. 


Issues that are yet to be adequately addressed include providing alternative packaging means and clarity on specialised use of polythene bags.

This obviously includes information on the manufacturers who will fill the void to meet demand for new packaging means.

Polythene bags are popular among Kenyans for their convenience and wide range of uses.

This is particularly important for low-income earners who package small quantities essentials like milk, paraffin and cooking oil in polythene bags.

There has also been ambiguity on whether certain products like bin bags that are an important part of the country’s chaotic garbage collection ecosystem will also be banned.

More light also needs to be shed on the licencing of plastic bag manufacturers after August 28.

Such policy changes, it should be emphasised, must not be implemented to the disadvantage of a majority of innocent Kenyans.

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