#30DaysofGreen on the ban of plastics usage in Kenya

On day 10 of the 2020 edition of #30DaysofGreen campaign, the Nairobi Hub of the Global Shapers Community (an initiative of the World Economic Forum) highlights the policies regarding the use of plastics in Kenya.

Kenya’s policy on plastic bags

Gazette Notices Numbers 2334 & 2356 of 2017 banned the use of plastic carriers & flat bags for household and commercial packaging in Kenya.

According to National Environment Management Authority (NEMA):

– a plastic carrier is a plastic bag constructed with handles and with or without gussets. This is any bag regardless of its thickness or colour, used at the supermarkets, retail stores, shopping malls and grocery stores as secondary packages. Usage of plastic bags for primary industrial packaging is not banned in Kenya

– a flat bag is a plastic bag constructed without handles and may have a gusset or not.

Penalties for non-compliance 

Any person using banned plastics is liable to a fine of between Kshs. 2-4 million or imprisonment of 1-4 years or to both a fine and imprisonment (section 144 of the Environmental Management Coordination Act)

Approved alternatives to plastic carrier bags and flat bags

These are the bags approved by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)

  • Bags made of non-plastic materials e.g. jute/sisal bags, cloth bags, papyrus bags & canvas bags;
  • Woven polypropylene plastic bags (gunny bags)
  • Non-woven polypropylene plastic bags complying with KEBS standards
  • Laminated polypropylene bags
  • Polyolefin fibre bags

Proposals for reform

  • The Government of Kenya should extend the plastics ban to cover primary industrial packaging;
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles should be banned in Kenya;
  • The Government of Kenya to follow through the commitment made by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Women Deliver Conference, 2019 in Canada to ban the usage of single-use plastics in protected areas (such as national parks & beaches) effective 5th June 2020; and
  • The Government of Kenya should offer incentives to manufacturers to adopt green packaging alternatives.

For more information on Kenya’s plastics ban, visit NEMA’s webpage

Comments are closed.