Kenya bans single use plastics in all protected areas

Kenya announced a ban with immediate effect on single-use plastics in all its protected areas including national parks, beaches, forests and conservation areas.

The directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta was made at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

“Kenya is host to the global environment program and has remained a campaigner for a sustainable environment. Two years ago, we banned the use, manufacture and sale of environmentally harmful plastics, polythene bags and packaging materials,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta noted that a campaign for a sustainable environment, which is a guarantee to a healthy, better and productive society, must include women and girls.

The latest announcement signals Kenya's determination to deal with the waste problem caused by plastics.

On August 28, 2017, Kenya effected a ban on the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags with offenders facing hefty penalties for non-compliance.

In March this year, the National Environment Management Authority ordered all manufacturers, importers, suppliers and users of non-woven polypropylene bags to stop further manufacture, importation, supply and use of non-woven Polypropylene bags.

The NEMA said the bags were known to bear positive characteristics in terms of reusability and durability as opposed to the conventional plastic carrier bags.

The administration of the country's capital, Nairobi, has also embarked on cleanup exercises of a number of rivers and drainage systems in an attempt to rid them of waste material and plastics.

The United Nations says the environment is unable to cope with the amount of plastic waste generated and has called for a rethink in the way humans manufacture, use and manage plastics.