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BY JOHN WERU,NAIROBI,29TH AUG 2017-The Green Belt Movement has commended the Ministry of Environment following a move to ban the use of non biodegradable plastic bags .The movement says the move will ensure the long term sustainability of the environment.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Green belt Chairperson Marion Kamau said the long-awaited ban is timely as it will contribute greatly in reducing the effects associated with the use and improper disposal of plastics.
“Besides the littering problem which is apparent in most Kenyan urban centres, plastic waste, air pollution, habitat destruction, human health problems that include lung and respiratory disorders, human and animal deaths are but a few of the other complications,” she noted.
She said awareness is ongoing through community training on the environmental and health impacts of plastic bags.
“The movement has been advocating against plastic waste through the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and we continue awareness through community trainings on the environmental and health impacts of plastics.”
“Moreover we are in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and the National Environment and Authority Management (NEMA) in mainstreaming waste management.”
“Through this partnership we are sensitizing communities and different stakeholders on the 3 R’s, the effects of open burning of waste and behavioural change in relation to use of polythene bags,” Kamau stated.
On his part Kang’ethe Mungai who is also from the movement has called on the Ministry of Environment to go beyond the ban of plastic bags and actually address the use of plastic bottles which are common in the packaging of water and soft drinks, and are equally a menace.
“Kenyans have proved to be very innovative; this is evident after the implementation of the plastic bags ban which took effect on the Aug 28. And so what is needed are laws and policies to govern the use, management and disposal of plastics of all types,” stated Mungai.
On Monday, NEMA Director General Geoffrey Wahungu said they have stationed enforcement teams throughout the country as well as create more awareness and clarify matters arising from the ban.
“This is more of an awareness campaign that will last a week; we want to inspect how manufacturers, retailers, and businesses are implementing the ban,” Wahungu told Capital FM News.
He also sought to clarify that county governments will be responsible for ensuring compliance by consumers and other businesses in various counties.