The much publicized ban on plastic bags took effect on 28th August 2017. On 28th February 2017.

Prof. Judi Wakhungu, the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, issued a gazette notice number 2536 banning the use, manufacture and importation of plastic carrier bags 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. Manufacturers and users were given six months to comply with the ban.
A research done by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) in conjunction with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), revealed that 100 million plastic bags are handed out annually in Kenya by supermarkets alone. The increased use of plastic bags has been the leading cause of environmental degradation in Kenya and the ban is intended to address this challenge by eradicating use of plastic bags.

Contravention of the gazette notice by either manufacturers or user of plastic bags will attract punitive penalties. Section 144 of the Environment Management Coordination Act ( EMCA) states as follows: “Any person who contravenes the provision of the gazette notice shall be liable to a fine of not less than two (2) million Kenya Shillings, and not more than four (4) million Kenya shillings, or imprisonment of a term of not less than one (1) year but not more than two (2) years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

Kenyans are advised to use alternatives to plastic carrier bags which include bags made from sisal, paper, cloth, papyrus, and gunny bags. The Government has committed to support increased production of such alternatives by extending incentives to those using locally available materials to produce alternative carrier bags. To know more about the ban on plastic carrier bags ..Click Here.