Kenyan court declines to prevent ban on polythene bags

Saturday August 26 2017

Kenyan manufacturers had moved to court to challenge the ban on polythene bags, which was declined. PHOTO | NMG

A Kenyan court on Friday declined to stop the implementation of a ban on plastics, paving the way for the law to take effect on August 28.

Environment and Land Court Judge Bernard Mweresa dismissed an appeal by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and two businessmen to temporarily suspend the implementation of the ban, saying it would not cause devastating losses as claimed by the petitioners.

The judge noted that the ban is limited to two categories of plastic and seeks to secure the rights of Kenyans to a clean environment.

“In my view, that would offend Kenya’s Constitutional and legal framework on protection and management of the environment and subordinate the public interest of the Kenyan people to the commercial interests of plastic dealers,” Justice Mweresa said.

READ: Why Kenyans must dispose of plastic bags

The petitioners in their appeal told the court that the gazette notice issued on February 28 banning the use, import and manufacture of plastic bags with a six-month compliance window, did not comply with the statutory Act of 2013, adding that adequate stakeholder consultation was not undertaken.


The Ministry of Environment maintained that the deadline for the notice would not be extended, adding that it has put in place the necessary measures to deal with those who contravene the law.

Environment Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli said the government will provide tax incentives to manufacturers of alternative packaging materials, adding that the ministry has reached a deal with 40 producers of the environment-friendly packaging materials.

READ: Traders fight plastic bags ban in court