NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) on
Thursday decried the ban on plastic bags that will be effected
after August 28 saying it could undermine industrial growth and
job creation in the country.
A statement from the
lobby said the plastic ban flouted constitutional principles on
consensus building and could also put a brake on investments in
the manufacturing sector.
“Currently, we have
over 176 plastic manufacturing companies in Kenya that employ
2.89 percent of all Kenyan employees and indirectly employ over
60,000 people. These jobs and livelihoods will be negatively
affected by this ban,” read the statement from KAM.
Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Professor Judi
Wakhungu on March 14 issued a directive to manufacturers and
retail chains to stop using polythene bags for packaging goods
Wakhungu banned the
manufacture, use and importation of plastic bags for commercial
and household packaging citing their threats to environment and
While green lobbies
applauded Kenya’s bold decision to ban use of plastic bags,
manufacturers worried about its implication to economic growth
and job creation.
sector as a whole will also be negatively impacted by the ban as
they utilize plastics for packaging products,” said the
It added that
imported products packaged in plastics are not affected by the
ban and this will create an uneven playing field for the sector.
Kenya joined the
league of other East African States like Rwanda that have
imposed a ban on use of plastic bags for packaging goods in view
of their detrimental impact on the environment.
The East African
Legislative Assembly is spearheading efforts to ban use of
polythene bags across the region terming them a drawback to
manufacturers warned that implementation of the plastic ban
could face legal hurdles since key stakeholders were not
They also noted that
the six months grace period announced by the government for the
ban to take effect was not adequate for them to halt production
and clear stocks.
“There is need to
avail alternatives to substitute the plastic bags since the
country is not in a position to offer this alternative currently
or in the next six months,” said KAM.
lobby emphasized that plastic menace was not a production issue
but rather a waste management and consumer behavior challenge.
“Plastic sector has
proposed establishment of a fund to address plastic waste
management,” read the KAM statement adding that local
manufacturers are committed to green production to reduce the
menace of solid waste in cities.