30-08-2017 by redazione
As it was reasonable to think, in these days there have been dozens and dozens of emails, as well as posts in our FB pages, regarding explanations and questions about the ban on plastic bags that Kenya has applied since last Monday, August 28th.
We have put together the ten most frequently asked questions in this vade-mecum and, by consulting the NEMA website and the communiqués received, by clicking here and entering the article you will find the answers.
1.1. Can biodegradable bags, such as wet bags, be brought from Italy?
No, not yet. Kenya must first of all find a way of checking which are really biodegradable and which are counterfeit.
In the meantime, it is possible that companies that previously produced polyethylene bags may be given the opportunity to place their biodegradable bags on the market under a special brand name. Just yesterday, there was a first meeting between NEMA and potential producers.
2.2. Who is authorised to stop, search and punish?
Only and exclusively NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) officers, who are required to show you their membership card. The Authority has issued a press release (downloadable on their website) which warns that the Kenyan Police is not authorized to carry out searches or to fine anyone found in possession of material that is not allowed.
3.3. Are the fines applied immediately?
No, for the first two weeks there will be no fines and in any case for those who are simply found in possession of a bag there will be a normal recall. NEMA's investigations in this first phase concern shops, large businesses and large disposal plants.
4.4. How do you do for cases wrapped in cellophane?
On arrival at the airport, which is considered a "free zone", the customs authorities will have your cellophane removed without any problems.
5.5. Can the black trash bags be used?
They may only be used if they are supplied by the waste disposal company or the County Government, with their trademark and must only be used for the collection and disposal of waste.
6.6. Are food freezer bags outlawed?
Only hermetically sealed plastic sealers that bear the brand name of the company that produces them are permitted.
7.7. What other alternative bags can be worn and used?
Handbags of jute, paper, corn starch, cassava. In addition to the white polypropylene ones, which are not ecological but do not cause toxic fumes by burning. Naturally, bags and bags of cloth and fabric are also admitted.
8.8. What should anyone who arrives in Kenya after this date and has bags or other plastic outlaws at home?
You must report it, showing the date of arrival. For the time being, Malindi's Nakumatt and Kilifi's Tuskys should be two collection centres from 31 August (as NEMA says), otherwise you have to go to the Malindi office of the National Environment Management Authority. You will not be fined.
9.9. Are the Duty Free Shop bags allowed?
When entering Kenya, they will be taken to the airport, while it will be possible to take them back to Europe when they are purchased in the airport's shops.
10.10. Airlines require airlines to pack liquids such as medicines in droplets or syrups into hermetically sealed plastic bags in order to carry them as carry-on baggage. Will it still be possible to do so and keep the bags on Kenyan soil in view of their return?
NEMA has not yet commented on this exception, but the example of other states that applied the same ban before Kenya say that these envelopes will be allowed.
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by Leni Frau
Kill two birds with one stone.
There will certainly be a similar saying in kiswahili to say that at times not only can they solve the problems, but maybe they solve two at the same time, with a common action.
In a week, Monday 28 August, Kenya should announce the entry into force of the ban on plastic bags.
The country's environmental change was decided six months ago, on February 28, 2017, and should be operational by next Monday.