Clarification on which bags will be banned by NEMA from 31st March

After banning plastic bags, NEMA announces new ban

Clarification on which bags will be banned by NEMA from March 31, 2019

The National Environment Management Authority has announced a new ban on Polypropylene non-woven carrier bags.

In a public notice published on Tuesday, the authority explained that the new bags that are in high circulation following the plastic ban have become problematic.

"It has been noted over time that Manufacturers of these bags are producing very ‘low gauge’ poor quality non-woven bags which cannot be used multiple times but are disposed of after single use.

"This single-usage of these bags will eventually lead to heavy environmental consequences due to poor disposal practices currently being experienced in the country coupled with the lack of requisite infrastructure to sustainably manage these bags," the notice read in part.

KEBS to Gazette a suitable gauge

A majority of the bags that Kenyans are purchasing from supermarkets and other vendors are the banned non-woven variant.

The woven gunny bag "gunia" type of carrier bag is, however, still permissible according to the NEMA brief.

"The Authority directs that ALL manufacturers, importers, suppliers/distributors and users of these Non-woven polypropylene bags should STOP further manufacture, importation, supply and use of these bags in the Kenyan market effective 31ST MARCH 2019 until the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBs) gazettes a standard that will inform the quality of non-woven bags needed in the Kenyan market," NEMA directed.

The ban on plastic carrier bags took effect on August 28, 2017 and a number of people have been taken to court and fined for violating the ban.

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