Kenya introduces plastic bag ban

Ban includes penalties of four years in jail or $40,000 fine.
A tough new ban on the use of plastic bags came into effect across Kenya on 28 August, despite attempts in court by plastic manufacturers to halt the nationwide move. Those caught breaking the ban will risk up to four years in prison or fines of $40,000.
The new Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, recently sworn into office following Kenya's general election, says the ban will make the capital a cleaner place, with the city council urging residents to use bags made from alternative materials such as canvas, jute and biodegradable plastics.
However refuse collectors claim that the cost of these alternatives will be prohibitive and that refuse collection will now become "impossible" without plastic bin liners. Plastic manufacturers have also warned that the ban will lead to the loss of around 60,000 jobs in Kenya.
First announced in February this year, the legislation bans the "use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging." Certain types of plastic bags may still be used however for manufacturing purposes, under strict conditions.
Experts estimate that plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

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