About two years after banning the use of plastics bags, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has raised concern over the poor quality of non-woven polypropylene bags in the market.
The sub-standard carrier bags have therefore been banned by NEMA with effect from 31st March giving manufacturers and traders 12 days grace period to exhaust their available stocks.
According to NEMA, the non-woven bags which were meant to replace the plastic ones were known to bear positive characteristics in terms if reusability and durability.
The agency said that due to the high demand for the non-woven bags, manufacturers took advantage of the situation and begun production of low gauge poor quality bags that cannot be re-used after one-time usage.
“This single usage of 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 sustainability manage these bags,” said a notice published by Nema Director-General Geoffrey Wahungu in local dailies.
Manufacturers, traders and users will have to wait until the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) gazettes a standard that will inform the quality of non-woven bags needed for usage.
The non-woven bags have gained popularity in supermarkets and other retail market as a way of packaging goods ranging from groceries to other products.
Businesses, therefore are going to be widely affected as traders will need to seek other low-cost alternatives to package goods and products for their customers.
Consumers will also feel the pinch of the ban as traders before asked people to carry their own packages for goods since other alternatives proved to be more expensive.