NEMA begins crackdown on non-woven bags

A client service officer at Bestly cosmetics with a sample of the non woven bag as the Nema Mombasa boss Stephen Wambua looks during a past crackdown.The Authority is set to begin a crackdown on non woven bags PHOTO /FILE

The National Environment Management Authority is set to begin a crackdown against those who will be found importing, supplying or using the non-woven polypropylene bags sold in supermarkets and other retail stores.

This is following the expiry of a notice given seeking to have people rid the use of those bags and manufacturers improve on the quality of the bags.

 The Authority (NEMA) argued that the decision was reached due to the consistent supply of low-quality bags that had flooded the market.

 “The penalties are equal to those of banned plastic bags. We are not going to tell them our strategies; but today we will raid Mombasa, Nairobi or Nakuru. To be clear, from today, non-woven bags are contraband and people will be arrested,” Prof Geoffrey Wahungu, director general at NEMA said.

Prof Wahungu further blamed manufacturers for the predicament, saying they started producing poor quality, very thin and non-reusable bags to Kenyans.

“We did not wake up from slumber to issue the ban. We talked to the players and gave them a one-month notice but they asked for an extension. We gave them three months to comply. Is this move justifiable or not? Prof Wahungu asked.

 “You should even have consulted the Kenya Bureau of Standards. You refused to heed our calls then later you start crying foul asking where NEMA was when you started producing the non-woven carrier bags. We did not allow usage of such bags in Kenya,” Prof Wahungu maintained.