Heated debate after 3 hawkers arrested over use of banned plastic bags

Kenyans angered after 3 hawkers arrested using banned plastic bags

Traders arrested using banned plastic bags

Kenyans online were angered by the arrest of three traders who were busted by Nema using the banned plastic bags.

Tweeps questioned why the institution went after hawkers and not the big distributors who manufacture the banned polythene bags.

Nema reported that the three traders were arrested in Nairobi selling products packaged in the banned plastic bags on Monday.

"3 traders were arrested in Nairobi yesterday using banned plastic bags. About 500 pieces of the bags were seized. The trio is being presented in court today," Nema stated.

Kenyans defending traders

Netizens defended the traders arguing that large companies were not complying with the stipulated laws on the outlawed bags.

You guys know the distributors bt you can't bite the hand that feeds you.... we know the drill labda mliwaitisha 20k vile mmezoea wakakosa... it's a crime being poor in Kenya

I have never seen NEMA go for those producing theses polythene bags nor the wholesalers supplying them. Very unfair, and the case will move with godspeed, God be with the trio.

Nema has the capacity to unearth the channels through which the illegal polythene are shipped in to the market, and possibly arrest the 'big fishes' to end this menace. It is extremely saddening to seeing that only the poor small scale traders are netted by Nema operations

Those people don't manufacturer polythene bag, just shutdown those factory that make polythene bags. Meanwhile let those people go

According to the law, any person caught using the banned bags is liable to pay a fine of up to Ksh4 million or imprisonment of between 1-4 years.

However, others supported the arrest which they argued was in line with the law.

Though I do not sympathize with anyone using the banned bags, this is too low for you guys. Extremely low, bearing in mind that the unscrupulous dealers responsible for production and supplying the polythene bags in bulk are walking scot-free.

Nema inspectors have been conducting raids on suspected sellers of the banned bags. Last week they seized 1,830 bags and arrested 9 traders who were arraigned in court.

Busts by Nema

Last year, manufacturers who import plastic bags into the country were exposed after Nema raised alarm on the increasing illegal trade.

Nema officers busted plastic bags which were being imported from neighboring Uganda and sold in the Kenyan market.

Plastic bags were banned in 2017 and their possession could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to Ksh4 million or four years’ imprisonment.


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