Sub-Saharan Africa
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Kenya Prohibits Plastic Bags for Organic Waste Collection

© AFP 2023 IVAN LIEMANPicking out polythene bags from a dump site near the Old Town of Mombasa
Picking out polythene bags from a dump site near the Old Town of Mombasa  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 24.04.2024
In 2017, Kenyan authorities banned single-use plastic bags for household and commercial use in an effort to reduce pollution. Violators face up to four years in prison or a fine of $19,000 to $38,000.
Kenya's National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has announced a ban on the use of plastic bags for the collection and disposal of organic waste.
Plastic bags will not be allowed on the market within 90 days from April 8, when the notice was first issued, NEMA said.

"To ensure environmentally sound management of the organic waste fraction, the Authority directs that within 90 days from the date of this notice, the use of conventional plastic bags/bin liners for the collection of organic waste shall thus cease forthwith," the authorities explained.

NEMA also directed all county governments and private waste service providers to ensure that their customers are supplied with 100% biodegradable bags.

"All organic waste generated by households, private sector and public sector institutions, private and public functions and events shall strictly be segregated and placed in 100% biodegradable garbage bags/bin liners only," it added.

This move follows a seven-year gap since Kenya’s previous ban on plastic carrier bags in 2017. According to the text of the law, the police have the right to arrest anyone found in possession of a plastic bag.
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According to the United Nations Environment Program, more than 60 countries around the world have introduced bans or fees on single-use plastics as part of the global campaign to reduce plastic pollution.
In early February, Somalia joined the ranks of African countries that have banned plastic bags, announcing a ban on single-use plastic bags by the end of June.
Plastic pollution is a challenge for sub-Saharan Africa, where, according to UK-based Christian charity Tearfund, enough plastic is thrown away or burned every minute to fill a football field.