The menace that is the plastic bag may soon be a thing of the past in the country if a ban by the Government is actually implemented. This comes after the announcement in a gazette notice dated February 28 that the Government will beginning September ban the use of plastic bags.

             “In exercise of the powers conferred under section 3 and 86 of the Environmental Management and Natural Resources Act, it is notified to the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources has with effect from six months from the date of this notice banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging,”

Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said the ban particularly targets carrier bags, plastic bags with handles as well as flat bags – those without handles – all used by consumers to carry goods, especially from retail outlets

India’s capital city Delhi also introduced a ban on disposable plastic in January following  concerns in the country about the amount of plastic waste it produces. According to the Times of India, it is responsible for an astonishing 60 per cent of the plastic that is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.

Barely a month ago, UN declared war on plastics through its new Clean Seas initiative. The UN Environment’s #CleanSeas initiative aims to eliminate single-use plastic bags and micro-plastics in cosmetic products;which are the major sources of marine litter; by 2022.  UN Environment’s Executive Director Erik Solheim commended Kenya on making decisive a move towards the eradication of an ugly stain on its outstanding natural beauty.

“We’ve stood by too long as the problem has gotten worse,” said Erik Solheim in a previous statement,  “It must stop.”
Although plastic bags are convenient and somewhat durable since it can be used more than once, they serve as a great threat to the environment and humanity. Other than being rather unsightly on city streets, they pose a threat to human, marine and also wildlife.
Other nations have instituted a plastic bag tax as an option, where consumers would pay a small fee for each plastic bag. This strategy has been proven effective in countries like Ireland, where this fee was instituted in 2002 and plastic bag usage decreased by about 90%.
Hopefully the ban gets enforced and restore the beauty that is Kenya on our streets!