Minister insists deadline on plastic bags ban remains September

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Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof Judy Wakhungu (in pink dress) when she appeared before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, May 16, 2017. [Photo/Parliament of Kenya]

Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof Judy Wakhungu has emphasized that the ban on usage of plastic paper bags will be reinforced starting this September as planned.

Appearing before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Wakhungu defended the ban, saying the continued use of plastic paper bags had caused frequent health complications to Kenyans, environmental hazards, including affecting sea animals such as fish.

According to the CS, it is now easy for fishermen to fish plastic bags, than fish itself, due to the poor disposal of the bags, and there undicomposing nature.

She was appearing before the MPs in regards to a Petition the Committee is prosecuting, on the ban of manufacture and use of plastic bags which is set to take effect in September 2017.

Wakhungu told MPs the Bill would not be reversed, adding that stakeholders in the plastic sector have been very slow in coming up with alternative solution.

She said some have been calling on her to extend the time for implementation of the ban to more than six months, but she declined.

The CS said the use of plastic bags would be obsolete in less than 15 years time globally, hence need for Kenya to act fast.

At the same time, Wakhungu dismissed claims that the ban would see over 600,000 lose their jobs, when the ban takes effect.

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