Kenya will be fighting the move by Rwanda and Tanzania to ban plastic bags in the East African region as it seeks to protect jobs in the plastic manufacturing industry, reports the Business Daily.
The upcoming East African Legislative Assembly is bound to debate a bill seeking to ban the plastic paper bags in the region. Kenya was able to avert the debate last year when the bill was set aside to allow for consultations, after the Kenya Associations of Manufacturers raised objections.
The EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill, 2016 moved by Rwanda’s Patricia Hajabakiga wants to remove the top environmental nuisance across the region. The bill provides a legal framework for the preservation of a clean and healthy environment by prohibiting manufacturing, sale, importation and use of polythene materials.
However Kenya maintains that jobs will be lost with a total ban. Industries in Kenya’s capital Nairobi produce 86,000 plastic bags daily.
Tanzania implemented the total plastic ban early this month following Rwanda’s lead. Uganda is believed also be considering amending its 2009 law to effect a total ban.
According to the EastAfrican, Kenya will still oppose the debate in Kampala, as select stakeholders under Kenya Association of Manufacturers have been tasked to lobby EALA members to throw it out. Kenya has offered to introduce adjustments to polythene bags specifications and a special tax by the Treasury that will allow its environmental watchdog — the National Environment Management Authority — to manage the waste.