Nairobi News


It’s a Sh2m fine for carrying plastic bag as ban nears

The ban on plastic bags in Kenya will take effect in ten days.

The government in March gave a five month notice on a ban on the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags that will take effect on August 28.

This is Kenya’s third attempt in ten years to impose a ban on plastic bags. The first one failed because of a lack of consistent follow up on the agreed implementation plan.

In 2007 and 2011, the proposed ban focused on reducing the thickness of the bags which was not successfully achieved as the plastic waste menace continued to affect the environment.


This year’s implementation plan comes with measures including penalties for those found with plastic bags, including commercial and household packaging.

To allow full implementation of the ban, CS Prof Judi Wakhungu announced in June said that there would be a penalty if found in possession of plastic bags.

The Environment Manufacturers and Co-ordination Act stipulates that a culprit faces not less than a year in prison or a fine of not less than Sh2 million.

When the ban comes to effect in 10 days, the penalty would apply to both individuals and manufacturers.


National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the body tasked to oversee the enactment and implementation of the ban, said that they were working to domesticate the law for small offenders and were hoping for assistance from the counties in implementing it.

However, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers has petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to lift the ban, arguing that it will have dangerous consequences on the economy.

Major supermarkets in the city have started using netting and brown paper bags for packaging in anticipation of the new regulation.

Supermarkets have supported the ban on plastic bag terming the move as a major step towards achieving a clean environment.