NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s historic plastic ban that was
implemented on Monday has earned accolades from a leading African
green lobby group which termed it a giant step towards securing the
country’s sustainable future.
Greenpeace Africa said in a statement issued in Nairobi that Kenya
has set a precedent in environmental conservation by imposing a ban
on manufacture and use of plastic carrier bags.
The Executive Director of Greenpeace Africa Jeri Kabeberi said that
Kenya has inspired other countries in the continent through the
landmark decision to ban plastic packaging materials whose threat to
ecosystems and livelihoods is profound.
“Greenpeace Africa welcomes the decision by the government to
implement the plastic bags ban. This is a beacon of hope in
fostering an environmentally conscious society and is a clear
message that Kenya is ready to join other African countries in
taking bold steps on environmental issues that are key to ensuring a
sustainable future,” Njeri said.
Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
Judi Wakhungu in late February announced that the plastic ban will
be effective from Aug. 8 in line with a regional pact to phase them
out and reduce pollution.
The country’s manufacturing lobby opposed the ban citing its adverse
impact on jobs and wealth creation in the country.
High Court Judges ruled in favor of a case filed by the
manufacturing lobby to suspend the ban until viable alternatives to
ecologically harmful polythene carrier bags were found.
However, the Environment Ministry on Aug. 26 got a boost in its
drive to ban plastic bags when the high court suspended the
injunction placed by manufacturers.
Conservationists hailed the court’s decision to allow the plastic
ban to be implemented in full, saying it marked a critical milestone
in Kenya’s transition to green economy.
“Kenyans need to adopt 100 percent re-usable and eco-friendly
packaging materials in the market like traditional baskets,” said
“As we welcome this ban, we cannot forget the challenge that lies
ahead of us in dealing with the tones of plastic already polluting
our environment,” she added.
The Kenyan-born green advocate said her organization is willing to
partner with the central and county governments to boost solid waste
management at the grassroots level.