In Summary
  • Manufacturers have asked Parliament to suspend the implementation of the ban and change the law to come up with more innovative ways to manage waste and recommend the establishment of a levy to fund this.

  • The Kenya Association of Manufacturers says the ban will kill a Sh100-billion industry and cause massive job losses.

Banning plastic bags will result in the death of an industry worth more than Sh100 billion and employing thousands, manufacturers have said, as they started the fight back against the government’s ban on the bags in the next six months.

They have asked Parliament to suspend the implementation of the ban and change the law to come up with more innovative ways to manage waste and recommend the establishment of a levy to fund this.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (Kam) argues that the ban will kill a Sh100-billion industry in which investors have put in more than Sh88 billion, in addition to causing massive job losses.

Their petition was presented to the National Assembly by Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch on Wednesday afternoon, just a day before Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich praised the ban announced by his Environment counterpart Prof Judy Wakhungu via a notice in the Kenya Gazette on February 28.

The opposition by the manufacturers through their influential lobby group is bound to develop into a major debate on the prudence of the policy and whether the problem is, as they say, about waste management, rather than the use of the bags.

PERPETUAL PROBLEM

There is also the bigger question of how waste should be managed in the large and economically significant cities in the country such as Nairobi and Mombasa where the management of waste by the respective county governments has been a perpetual problem.

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