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Traders arrested for using plastic bags – VIDEO

The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has arrested 13 small scale traders in Nairobi for using polythene bags in the heightened crackdown on use of the banned plastic materials.

The 13 were arrested during enforcement joint operations with Nairobi Metropolitan Service  (NMS) officers in Toi market and Dangoretti corner.

Nairobi regional NEMA director Anthony Saisi Aura said all those arrested were from the “kandongo economy”- the end users found using the plastic bags to package commodities for customers.

Aura said the ban on single use plastic bags has created very big change in environmental safety in the whole country, but there are still unscrupulous traders selling them and others using them.

He blamed the members of the public for creating a market for them and said the crackdown will continue until full compliance is achieved.

“We saw how storm water was being choked, and wildlife and livestock were feeding on the same but when the ban came there was a very big change,” Aura said.

“The ban had succeeded for some time but there seems to be a surge of the plastics. We tell those that are still using or producing the plastics that we shall not tire in enforcement to ensure Kenyan environment is clean and safe and secure for all of us.”

Saisi said the biggest problem with eliminating the papers from the country is that manufacturers make them in isolated places and the small scale traders found using them don’t give information that could help arrest the manufacturers and distributors.

He said there are scenarios where the manufacturers who took advantage of some government officers working from home due to Covid-19 pandemic started bringing back the banned materials.

He urged other stakeholders to join in enforcing the ban just like other laws and heightened surveillance to stop the vice adding: “it is for the safety of us all not for the government.”

Picture; Sugarcane vendor arrested for using single ue polythene bags during NEMA crackdown in Nairobi.