Police will not arrest you for carrying non-woven bags

The hands of police are tied from arresting anyone walking around with non-woven polypropylene bags.

The ban of the bags was temporarily suspended on Thursday pending hearing and determination of the case.

This follows an application filed by Importers and Small Traders Association of Kenya who challenged the decision of the National Environmental Management Authority’s (NEMA) to ban the bags on grounds that it was made unilaterally and without any consultation with the stakeholders and public.

High Court suspends ban on non-woven shopping bags

“The court be pleased to issue orders suspending the directive by the respondents stopping the use , manufacture, importation and supply /distribution of non-woven polypropylene bags effective from March 31, 2019 this year pending hearing and determination of the case,” read the orders issued.

In court, the traders argued that they had invested heavily in terms of capital through acquisition of machinery, raw material and labour.

“That the respondent is inhuman, inconsiderate and not proportionate as they offend the principles of inclusiveness and public participation,” read the court papers.

They further argued that the said directive by NEMA is bound to occasion massive job losses and further curtail the economic rights of many Kenyans who rely on the trade of non-woven bags.

Further, they claim that NEMA’s directive is intended to be to be in force indefinitely as the respondents did not indicate how long it will take for the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to effect specifications on the gauge and quality of the non-woven carrier bags to be allowed in the market.

Earlier fears of the ban have been settled

NEMA on March 19, 2019 publicized a directive demanding petitioners to stop the use, manufacturing, importation, supply and distribution of the non-woven polypropylene bags effective from March 31,2019.

The authority says the bags in the market are equally a threat to the environment.

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