Brace yourself!Non-woolen bag crackdown premiers next month

A heap of discarded plastic bags in Nakuru town on August 28, 2017. Single-use carrier bags were banned, now flimsy non-woven bags have returned

The National Environmental Management Authority announced on Wednesday that a crackdown on non-woven bags begins on  April 1.

Director General Geoffrey Wahungu said the extended notice given to manufacturers and users lapses on March 31.

He said that last November Nema met manufacturers of the bags and gave notice. On December 13 they met again and were given a three-month extension expiring on March 31,” Wahungu said.

He said there are no standards to guide the bags’ modification to make them legal.

“The bags are now are flimsy unlike before when they were strong and had multiple use,” Nema director general Geoffrey Wahungu said on Wednesday.

Speaking in Mombasa on Wednesday, the DG said bags’ gauge is yet to be tested and their tensile strength determined.

“The busting strength and toxicity of the material will be checked before we have a standard,” he said.

Wahungu said they are working with Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Forest Research Institute to set standards.

Image result for shopping bag

The DG said Nema is taking precautions to avoid a runaway situation. He said the standards that were allowed into the market have been eroded.

“We will not renew licenses or permits every year. We agreed to extend to two years for manufacturers and thee years for users.”

On February 28, 2017, the government issued a gazette notice banning manufacture, importation and use of thin-gauge, single-use carrier bags. It gave six-month grace period.

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