Plastic manufacturers got a reprieve after the State allowed them to continue producing single-use plastic such as disposable utensils and straws.
Instead, President Uhuru Kenyatta has handed the manufacturers one-year grace period after which their products will only be banned in protected areas such as parks forests and beaches even as their use continues elsewhere in the country.
The ban, which becomes effective on June 5, 2020, is less drastic than the one the State imposed on flimsy bags and packaging materials that were completely outlawed two years ago.
“As you are aware, Kenya is hosting the global environment programme and has remained a campaigner for a sustainable environment. In light of this commitment, two years ago we banned the use, manufacture and sale of environmentally harmful plastics, polythene bags and packaging materials,” President Kenyatta said his address during the opening plenary of Day Three of the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Canada.
“Building on this, today we are announcing another ban on single-use plastics in all our protected areas, including national parks, beaches, forests and conservation areas, effective June 5, 2020.”
The move by Kenya falls short of the drastic step taken on single-use plastic by the European Union countries which have since agreed on plans for a total ban.