Kebs approves materials to be used after plastics ban

Wednesday June 14 2017

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has approved several materials to be used as alternative packaging after the ban on plastic bags in August. PHOTO | FILE | AFP 

By JOSEPH WANGUI

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has approved several materials to be used as alternative packaging after the ban on plastic bags in August.

Kebs Quality Assurance and Inspection Director Eric Chesire on Tuesday said biodegradable materials whose standards have been approved include canvas, polypropylene and clothes.

Mr Chesire said the alternative materials are now readily available in the market.

He said no permit will be renewed for polythene manufacturers or new ones issued after the August 28 date when the ban is expected to be implemented.

“We have approved standards for manufacture of materials that will be used in place of plastics bags and still working to develop standards for more materials,” he said in Nyeri Town, central Kenya, during a workshop with business people.

Quality verification

The forum was on measures to verify the quality of various products as set by the Kebs.

The Environment and Natural Resources ministry banned the use of plastic bags currently used for commercial and household packaging.

The ban also covers importation and manufacturing of such products.

Mr Chesire explained the stringent measures Kebs has adopted to get rid of uncertified products off the market and ensuring that consumers only get best quality products.

He said the agency will continue with market surveillance to get rid of low-quality products sold to unsuspecting consumers by con retailers and manufactures.

Metal bars and water pipes

He pointed out metal bars and water pipes are some of the products that are manufactured without adhering to the recommended standards.

Mr Chesire noted that two cases touching the quality of the said products are pending in court, where Kebs has sued both the retailer and manufacturer of these products in Embu and Meru Counties.

The director guided the stakeholders on how to pre-check the standard of product before buying by sending a text message, #name of product, to 20023.