The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on Tuesday announced a new crackdown on traders selling seedlings using plastic bags.
NEMA in 2017, imposed a maximum fine of Ksh4 million fine for people using plastic bags for commercial or household packaging.
Traders selling seedlings using plastic bags were given a grace period to transition to non-plastic packaging options.
“The transition to biodegradable (compostable) seedling planting bags is long overdue,” NEMA announced the end of the grace period.
A photo of NEMA offices in Nairobi, Kenya.
NEMA stated that only 100 per cent biodegradable plastic bags would be allowed for seedlings.
“The same shall be duly approved and certified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards as being compliant with local and applicable international standards,” NEMA directed further.
“Offenders shall be liable to a fine of not less than Ksh2 million, and not more than Ksh4 million, or imprisonment of a term of not less than one year but not more than four years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
The crackdown on seedling plastic bags is part of a wider crackdown on the use of plastic bags.
The Authority noted that there were increasing cases of covert manufacture, importation, sale and use of the clear, flimsy plastic flat bags.
NEMA reiterated that the use of plastic bags made from any form of plastic polymer remains prohibited.
“Only essential primary industrial plastic packaging will continue (to use plastic) with the approval of NEMA through a clearance system,” traders were directed.
As such, manufacturers and importers of plastic bags shall be required to supply such only to users with valid NEMA approvals.
Plastic bags in a composite sit