Government spearheads mop up of plastic wastes

The government has begun mopping up plastic wastes as the state targets to rid the environment of the millions of tons of plastic bags waste for appropriate disposal or recycling.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu says the plastic ban is bearing fruit as more Kenyans embrace the new move to use eco-friendly carrier bags.

CS Wakhungu says the ban has created opportunities for young entrepreneurs to make complaint bags. Designers and producers of eco-friendly carrier bags are being challenged to design bags that can be used by the male gender who feel those in the market are more female friendly.

The Kenya Forest Service is working with NEMA to develop specifications for material to be used when growing tree seedlings.

Kenya is among ten countries that have banned the use of plastics. Of the ten countries, Indonesia committed to slash its marine litter by 70 percent by the year 2025.

Uruguay introduced taxes on single-use plastic bags; and Costa Rica took measures to dramatically reduce single-use plastic through better waste management and education.

About eight million metric tons of plastics end up in the oceans which are about 80% of the total litter in the oceans.

A ban on plastic carrier bags came into force in August. The ban meant that anyone found selling, manufacturing or carrying them could face fines of up to Kshs 4 million or prison sentences of up to four years.

The government said the ban was effected to help protect the environment.


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