High Court Suspends NEMA’s Non-woven Bag Ban

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High Court Suspends NEMA's Non-woven Bag Ban

The High Court, on Thursday, suspended the ban of non-woven carrier bags pending the hearing of an application by Importers and Small Traders Association.

The ban took effect on April 1, 2019, with NEMA’s Director General Prof Geoffrey Wahungu advising on the bags to be used to replace the non-woven ones.

In a statement, Wahungu stated that the bags are to be replaced with carrier bags made from reed, cotton, sisal, recycled plastic material, recycled paper, papyrus, woven plastic bags, hyacinth, and hard plastic.

“We had required that the non-woven bags be phased out by April 1, 2019, because they just served since there were no alternatives but now we have approved what should be used,” she stated.

Petitioners outside the High Court on 4/4/2019.

NEMA noted that the move was necessitated by low production standards observed by manufacturers adding that the bags could not be used multiple times, hence disposed of after single use.

The non-woven bags were supplied as an alternative after plastic bags were banned in August 2017.

It was during this period that the Kenyan market was flooded with non-woven bags to replace the carrier bags in various retail outlets.

Prof Wakhungu was clear in stating where the blame lies, asserting that the manufacturers went ahead and brought in the non-woven bags without consulting with the authority.

“You should even have consulted the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS). You refused to heed our calls, then later you start crying foul,” the NEMA boss disclosed.

NEMA boss Prof Geoffrey Wahungu showing the proposed shopping baskets.

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