Start weaving your Kiondo’s and Gunias; NEMA bans non-woven bags

A hawker with non-woven bags on the streets

Kenyans may eventually resort to the use Gunias and kiondos after the news that the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on Tuesday announced the ban of non-woven bags.

In a notice seen by a local publisher, the authority ordered the halt of manufacture, importation, supply, distribution, and use of non-woven polypropylene bags from March 31, 2019.

“The Authority directs that all manufacturers, importers, suppliers/ distributors and users of these non-woven polypropylene bags should stop further manufacture, importation, supply and use of these bags in the Kenyan market effective 31st March 2019 until the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) gazettes a standard that will inform the quality of non-woven bags needed in the Kenyan market,” the statement read in part.

NEMA noted that the move was necessitated by low production standards observed by manufacturers adding that the bags could not be used multiple times, hence disposed of after single use.

Non-woven bags

“This single-usage of these bags will eventually lead to heavy environmental consequences due to poor disposal practices currently being experienced in the country coupled with the lack of requisite infrastructure to sustainably manage these bags.

“You are therefore advised to comply accordingly, failure to which the Authority will instigate Enforcement Action pursuant to the provisions of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, Cap 387 of the Laws of Kenya,” the environmental body added.

The non-woven bags were supplied as an alternative after plastic bags were banned in August 2017.

It was during this period that the Kenyan market was flooded with non-woven bags to replace the carrier bags in various retail outlets.

The non-woven bags are known to bear positive characteristics in terms of reusability and durability as opposed to the conventional plastic carrier bags.

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