High Court thwarts Nema's ban on non-woven shopping bags

Slap on Nema after high court ruling

Milimani Law Courts

The High Court has temporarily suspended the ban on non-woven shopping bags which was issued by Nema.

On Thursday, the court gave the ruling stating that Nema shall comply with the orders until a petition filed by the Importers and Small Traders Association is determined.

This ruling came barely 24 hours after Nema announced its decision to move forward with to implement the ban on non-woven carrier bags.

Bags proposed by Nema

Non-woven carrier bags were a stop-gap measure to help in the absence of plastic bags but Nema claimed their quality had been compromised.

The bags will be replaced with carrier bags made from reed, cotton, sisal, recycled plastic material, recycled paper, papyrus, woven plastic bags, hyacinth, and hard plastic.

Director general of Nema, Prof Geoffrey Wahungu reiterated that this was a move to implement the existing ban.

End of deadlines

We had required that the non-woven bags be phased out by April 1, 2019, because they just served since there were no alternatives but now we have approved what should be used,” Prof Wahungu stated.

The Kenya Association Manufacturers (KAM) and the Kenya Retail Traders Association had requested for a grace period before the ban on the bags takes effect.

However, Nema declined to extend the deadline maintaining they had already given the two groups a three-month extension which expired on April 1.


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