THE National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has stepped up its fight against the re-emerging circulation and usage of plastic bags that have been officially prohibited.
An enforcement team has in the past three days arrested four suspects and impounded more than 10,000 pieces of the outlawed flat and carrier plastic bags.
Regional Director of Environment Wachira Bore disclosed that three suspects were nabbed in northern Kenya town of Moyale when an enforcement team from the agency raided their shops.
Bore noted that the suspects, all men, were found in possession of over 10, 000 pieces of the banned flat and carrier plastic bags while the fourth suspect was arrested in Marsabit town, also in the north, (at the border with Ethiopia) with 150 pieces of flat plastic bags.
The Regional Director who led the team said that all suspects arrested during the crackdown would be arraigned in court without exception. “All those contravening the law will be hunted down and prosecuted as demanded by the law,” he said and cautioned that both traders and members of the public found contravening the law would be treated with an equal legal measure.
The official warned that stringent actions would be in force to ensure the polythene menace is kept at bay for a safer and a well-conserved environment.
According to investigations by the authority, the outlawed plastic bags appear to have originated from neighboring Ethiopia.
Area County Director of Environment Edward Wawire was quick to point out that Ethiopia is yet to ban the use of plastics adding that unscrupulous traders were using the porous border to smuggle in the plastic bags.
“These plastic bags are coming in through the porous border to Moyale and even all the way to Marsabit town,” he said, adding that there was also a likelihood that some traders failed to declare stocks for disposal as demanded by the law.
There has been anxiety in Marsabit and other major towns in the country following the return of the plastic bags at the refuse collection points, in drainage tunnels and residential estates.
Majority of the population has heeded to governments campaign against plastic bags but it seems a good number of businesspeople haven’t disengaged completely from their use.