Kenya’s MPs demand immediate reversal of plastics ban

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Kenya’s MPs have demanded the immediate suspension of a Gazette notice that banned the production, importation and use of plastic bags beginning September, the Business Daily reports.

The country’s National Assembly’s Environment and Natural Resources committee said the decision to back a petition seeking suspension of the Gazette notice was based on the “unreasonableness of the time frame to implement the legal notice.” the report said.

On February 28, the Environment secretary Judi Wakhungu published the legal notice announcing a ban on both domestic and commercial use of plastic bags from September this year.

The committee argues that the notice is not in compliance with provisions of the Statutory Instruments Act, 2013, which requires parliamentary approval of any notices or regulations published by Cabinet secretaries.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) had petitioned the National Assembly, to suspend the Gazette notice for lack of stakeholder consultations.

The MPs want the Treasury to ring-fence the revenue generated from excise duty levied on plastic bag manufacturers

They are also calling for the application of part of the levies paid by manufacturers to fund research and entrepreneurial activities geared towards production of alternatives to plastic bags.

At current rates by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, wreaking havoc on marine fisheries, wildlife and tourism.

Kenya today is the 11th country to take action in support of the UN Environment campaign.

In Africa, Rwanda and Morocco have already banned plastic bags and other countries are set to announce measures in the coming weeks.

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