Traders cry foul over ban on plastic bags

Traders caught off guard in some regions are crying foul over the implementation of the plastic bag ban that took effect on Monday.

Fruits, vegetables and water vendors are protesting against the new law terming it draconian as they claim that they lack a suitable alternative to ensure a smooth continuity for their businesses.

Kenya joined ranks with Rwanda in implementing a ban on plastic bags to reduce environmental degradation.

In Embu, a section of fruits and vegetables vendors are up in arms against the law. They argue that they have incurred significant losses since the law came into effect.

Embu which is one of the biggest producers of Muguka (Khat) in the country, Tuesday witnessed most vendors packing their commodities into cartons and brown envelopes, which most have claimed is not efficient for marketing and ferrying due to the commodity’s highly perishable state.

Martin Mureithi a Muguka (Khat) farmer and vendor claims that most of his profit is now being used for buying packaging materials which are expensive at  450 shillings compared to 15 shillings for plastic bags.

Fruit vendors were not spared either. Esther Mukami is now worried that she may be forced to close shop due to unhygienic packaging.

Elsewhere in Narok County, small traders claim they are likely to incur losses amounting to 3 million shillings following the ban.

Chamber of Commerce County Chairman David Mpatiany noted that most business persons had a huge stock of plastic bags that they had purchased at the beginning of the year before the ban was effected.

He urged the government to give incentives to small traders who were dealing with the plastic bags business to cushion them from further losses.

As small businesses are feeling the heat of the ban, major retail outlets have hit the ground running and introduced bio degradable packing bags.

A section of supermarkets have resulted to selling the required carrier bags to customers at a cost.

However, for customers purchasing small size goods like stationery and cosmetics, the goods are not packed in any bag.

Also Read: Ban on plastic bags comes into force


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