The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has unveiled the alternative bags that they expect Kenyans to use after banning the use of non woven bags for not being environmentally friendly.
The director general Professor Geoffrey Wahungu said that newly approved bags made from sisal, cotton, reeds as well as certain types of hard plastic.
“These bags are made from recycled paper. We can plant wood lots for paper and use that if we need, there’s no problem,” Prof Wahungu said
The ban took effect on April 1.
Last week the Authority’s Director General Geoffrey Wahungu vowed to partner with relevant government agencies to arrest importers, producers and consumers of the now popular bags sold in every corner of many streets across the country.
According to Wahungu, those defying the directive risk being arrested, prosecuted or jailed.
The director revealed to a local daily that the raid will be random.
“The penalties are equal to those of banned plastic bags. We are not going to tell them put strategies; that today we will raid Mombasa, Nairobi or Nakuru. To be clear, from today, non-woven bags are contraband and people will be arrested, ” he warned.
He reiterated that NEMA had not allowed the use of non-woven carrier bags.
Two weeks ago, NEMA announced that it had banned poor quality non-woven bags barely two years after the ban on plastic bags took effect on February 2017.
In a notice, the authority said cost effectiveness of producing the bags led companies to produce low quality bags that could only be used for a single use and that would eventually lead to environmental degradation as a result of poor disposal.
“This single-usage of these bags will eventually lead to heavy environmental consequences due to poor disposal practices currently being experienced in the country and coupled with lack of requisite infrastructure to sustainably manage these bags.”the statement from NEMA stated.
The Authority has since barred manufacturers and suppliers from distributing the bags until the Kenya Bureau of standards gives direction on the quality of non woven bags that will be allowed in the Kenyan market.
“All the manufacturers, suppliers and users of these non woven polypropylene should STOP manufacture, supply and use of these bags until the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) that will inform the quality of the non- woven bags needed in the Kenyan market,” NEMA directed.