Nairobi, 25 August 2022- As Kenya marks 5 years since the ban on the manufacture, sale and use of single-use plastic carrier bags, the country has made some gains but effective implementation of the policy is still needed. Greenpeace Africa has noted with concern the return of single-use plastic bags in most of Kenya’s markets and informal settlements. Commodities such as sugar and bread are still being packed in plastic bags 5 years after the same were banned in what was seen as one of the toughest laws against single-use plastic bags.

“It is rather disappointing that half a decade after the ban, single-use plastic bags remain rife in Kenya’s environment. And especially now when the world is considering a global plastic treaty- a legally binding instrument to curb plastic pollution from production to disposal. Environmentalists are looking up to countries such as Kenya to lead the way in these negotiations,” said Greenpeace Africa’s Communication and Story Manager, Hellen Dena.

“Plastic pollution has been shown to have disproportionate impacts on marginalised communities and the ecosystem that millions depend on for livelihoods. Despite the ban on single-use plastic carrier bags coming into effect 5 years ago, plastic pollution remains a big transboundary and global challenge for Kenyans. Stringent action needs to be taken now to make Kenya plastic-free,” continued Dena.

“Plastic pollution is among one of the biggest threats facing humanity today. While Kenya’s government has generally shown commitment towards a plastic free future, there has been laxity when it comes to implementation of the same. Cooperation across the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) agents in different counties is critical in ensuring that all loopholes are sealed. 

“As we take stock of the hits and misses, Greenpeace Africa urges Kenya’s government to  strongly support the call for a global plastic treaty. Kenya and Rwanda are among countries in Africa that are uniquely placed to lead the world into a plastic-free future by galvanising the rest of Africa to support a strong global plastic treaty,” concluded Dena.

Media Contacts:

Greenpeace Africa Press Desk: [email protected]

Hellen  Kahaso Dena,
Communications and Story Manager,
[email protected], +254 717 104 144