Nema denies sanctioning inspection of vehicles for plastics

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has denied sanctioning any actions to stop and inspect private or public vehicles for plastic bags.

The plastic bag ban took effect on Monday amid a myriad of reactions from across the divide with some manufacturers uncertain of the next step to take to reduce their losses.

NEMA Director General Geoffrey Wahungu addressing workers in one of the manufacturing company in industrial Area maintained that the implementation of the ban had kicked off.

The National Authority also said none of its officers, County officials or police should harass anybody on account of banning the use of plastic papers.

This followed allegations that traffic police officers were harassing motorists in Nairobi in search of any plastic bags in their vehicles.

In a statement, the Authority said it was working on having disposal points where individuals can drop plastic bags in their possession.

“Our attention has been drawn to information circulating on social media networks claiming that NEMA officials are colluding with police officers to flag down private and public vehicles in search of plastic bags. It’s also claimed that the same officers are arresting members of the public and soliciting bribes to be set free. Members of the public are hereby informed that NEMA has not sanctioned any actions to stop and inspect private or public vehicles for plastic bags” warned the NEMA boss.

NEMA officials are also obliged to identify themselves. The agency has deployed eight teams in Nairobi to kick enforce the ban.

A court on Friday rejected a challenge to the ban. Kenyans are estimated to use 24 million bags a month.

A number of other African countries have outlawed plastic carrier bags, including South Africa, Rwanda and Eritrea.

This is the third attempt in the past 10 years to ban plastic bags in Kenya.

Travelers coming into Kenya with duty-free plastic shop bags will be required to leave them at the airport under the new rules, the National Environmental and Management Authority has said.

The government gave a six-month window for adjustment which expired on Sunday night.

Manufacturers who use polythene to wrap products are exempted from the bar.


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