Kenya urges neighbours to ban plastic bags
Publish date: 15 April 2019
Issue Number: 819
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Kenya is pushing its neighbours, especially Uganda and Tanzania, to ban the single-use plastic carrier bags, as it struggles to control smuggling of the products into its territory. Kenya and Rwanda are the only East African Community member states that have banned plastic carrier bags, and Nairobi wants Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi to join in the fight against the plastic menace, according to an allAfrica report. Kenya's National Environment Management Authority director-general Professor Geoffrey Wahungu said despite the ban, the regulator still faces challenges in controlling contraband materials. 'We have done well but we will not be free from plastic pollution if Uganda and Tanzania continue to produce the materials, which are sneaked into the country through the borders,' Wakhungu told the East African. At the last Heads of State Summit in Arusha, the leaders were expected to assent to the EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill, 2018, which would have seen the region have a common framework on the elimination of the use of the bags. However, some member states had reservations with some sections of the Bill. Kenya and Rwanda have, however, effected bans on plastic using national laws. This week, Kenya had started implementing a ban on the importation, sale and manufacture of non-woven carrier bags in supermarkets which became popular as alternatives to plastic carriers phased out in August 2017.