(Xinhua) -- Kenyan manufacturers on Saturday
warned of possible job losses following the move by the
government to ban plastic bags use which is set to come
into effect on Monday.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers
(KAM) also clarified that the industrialists have never
been against the intent of the ban, which is to clean up
the country, towards improving the quality of life for
“We have only differed on the manner
of its execution, which did not take into account
adequate stakeholder consultation,” KAM said in a
statement issued in Nairobi a day after the High
Court upheld ban on plastic bags.
The industrialists have argued that
the ban, if implemented, would lead to loss of over
420,000 jobs and revenues to firms and the government.
“The shutdown of many factories will
also mean immediate termination of workers with no
send-off packages and no alternatives provided,”
The government in a gazette notice
published in March imposed a ban on the use, manufacture
and importation of plastic bags used for commercial and
household packaging from Aug. 28.
The move, the third attempt in a
decade, saw Kenya join other environmentally conscious
countries in the war on the use of plastics.
The ban also means that citizens may
empty their garbage and re-use the same bags over and
over again, posing a health and sanitation risk.
The industrialists said it is crucial
that all stakeholders are engaged to develop measures
that allow the country to set up alternatives for a
smooth transition from plastic bags to help attain the
goal for a clean environment.
They said the six-month period was
hardly enough notice for a country whose entire industry
and population depends on these bags for packaging.
“We are hopeful that during the
hearing of the case, the Courts will recognize the
laws in the country and the Constitution, that any
regulation-making authorities should undertake
appropriate consultation and impact assessment
before issuing a policy directive—especially if the
directive is likely to have direct or substantial
effect on business and on the lives of citizens,”
The ministry has banned the use,
manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for
commercial and household packaging.
The ban targeted carrier bags with
handles, with or without gussets, or flat bags without
handles and with or without gussets.
The manufacturers said they had
developed and presented a waste management solution to
the ministry of environment and National Environment
Management Authority (NEMA) that has the potential to
manage the country’s waste an in the process create more
jobs for the people of Kenya.
“We implore the Ministry to look at
executing this proposal owing to its potential to
create sustainable economic growth,” said the