Nema warns of arrests for using ‘Uhuru bags’ after deadline
The National Environment Authority has warned of arrests to people and business premises found with non-woven bags beginning April 1.
Nema Director General Prof Geoffrey Wahungu has said the bags, christened Uhuru bags, would be illegal in Kenya just like plastic bags.
The non-woven bags, introduced after the ban on plastic, were initially deemed to be eco-friendly. The market has however been flooded with low quality versions which the authority says cannot be used multiple times and are disposed after single use.
“So from April 1, this bag is illegal in Kenya just like the plastic bag until such time that we understand it. We are testing its strength by gauge, the busting strength, the tensile strength and even the toxicity. We want to understand this before we make a decision,” said Prof Wahungu.
He urged kenyans to find alternative carriers for their shopping and foodstuffs.
“In the meantime we are encouraging Kenyans to still remember what we had gotten used to ,carrying your bag to the market and to the shopping centre,” said Prof Wahungu.
NEMA Director General, Prof Geoffrey Wahungu speaking about the Ban on Manufacture, Importation, Supply, Distribution and Use of Non-Woven Polypropylene Bags in Kenya effective 31st March 201 #PlasticBagBanKe pic.twitter.com/BjA4ikb89p
— NEMA Kenya (@NemaKenya) March 21, 2019
Kenyans on Twitter complained the new directive will inconvenience their lives.
Merab asked; “So we should cut down more trees to make brown paper bags or? Ama tuanze kushop na bed sheet sasa?”
JT Chege said; “I wish he watches/listens to himself when he gets home. Shouldn’t he have thought about all he’s claiming before allowing Kenyans to start using/get comfy with it? Hope there’ll be no ‘smelling of rats’ on the insistence of woven-bags. Hii Kenya siiamini raundi hii.”
Dickson Okero wrote; “NEMA please go back to the boardroom and analyze your decision, why did you allow the investors to put up plants for manufacturing non-woven bags? Where have you been all this time? Who is fooling who?”
Mark Murithi commented; “How can you ban a product without knowing if its harmful or not. Do you know this affects people businesses? Knee-jerk reactions. So what happens if you find the bag is okay? Youll just tell us twendelee? Let’s get serious.”