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Judi Wakhungu bans plastic bags in Kenya

You may be required to find a new way of carrying your shopping from markets, shops and supermarkets before September this year.

This is because the plastic bags traders give you without asking have been banned by the government.


Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu announced the ban on Tuesday.

“It is notified to the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources has with effect from 6 months from the date of this notice banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging,” stated Prof Wakhungu in a gazette notice dated February 28.


In the notice, the CS states that the banned plastic bags fall in in two categories — carrier bags and flat bags.

She defines a carrier bag as one that is “constructed with handles, and with or without gussets” while a flat bag is one that is “constructed without handles, and with or without gussets”.

In tailoring, a gusset is defined as an extra piece of clothing sewn into another cloth to make it wider, stronger or more comfortable.


Previous efforts to abolish the use of plastic bags have failed, and it remains to be seen if the latest ban will bear fruit.

In January 2011, the National Environmental Management Agency (Nema) declared a ban on below 0.6 millimetres in thickness but no results were achieved by the move.

In 2007, the government had issued a ban against bags below 0.3 millimetres in thickness, which also failed.

©Alleastafrica and Daily Nation

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