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Kenya Bans the Plastic Bag

by Lara Behrens
29th August 2017  
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The Kenyan government have taken the bold step of banning plastic bags; a stride in the right direction to developing an environmentally conscious society.

Kenya was the 11th country to take action in support of the UN Environment campaign - Clean Seas, of which there are now 40. And now in Africa, plastic bags have been banned in Eritrea, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda and Tanzania. Nigeria hasn't banned the bag, but we love the initiative From Waste to Wealth, encouraging women to crotchet plastic waste into colorful reusable bags and sell them in the markets.

Every single year more than 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, where they impact marine life, fisheries and of course tourism and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has praised Kenya for banning all production, use and import of plastic bags. Said Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment. “Plastic waste causes immeasurable damage to fragile ecosystems - both on land and at sea - and this decision is a major breakthrough in our global effort to turn the tide on plastic."

Kenya's ban is seen as one of the toughest in the world, with anyone found selling, manufacturing or carrying them facing a hefty fine, and possible jail time.

As of 01 September, we are strongly advising our customers travelling to Kenya to refrain from using all forms of ‘disposable’ plastic carrying bags in both main luggage and hand luggage, to avoid inconveniences and possibly prosecution.

The ban applies to:

• Carrier bags with handles & with or without gussets.
• Flat bags without handles & without gussets.

Please take note that if you are travelling to Nairobi, plastic bags that match the above description, including duty free bags, will be confiscated at the airport. There is however a bigger risk that if anyone is caught using these plastic bags the fine is Ksh. 4 000 000 approximately USD 38 000 or prison sentences of up to four years.

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