Kenyan government agency National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has enforced a complete ban on the manufacture, sale, distribution and usage of plastic bags in the country following a six-week grace period.

The country banned the use of plastic bags with a gazetted notification on 27 February.

It provided a six-month window to 28 August to allow the manufacturers to clear the stock and adapt with new packaging recyclable bags, which was again followed by a six-week grace period.

“The agency will now implement the ban to ensure flat plastic carrier bags are no longer supplied.”

The ban encompasses all non-recyclable plastic bags with handles, with or without gussets, in addition to flat bags with or without handles and gussets, reported

Speaking at a press conference, NEMA director general Geoffrey Wahungu stated the agency will now implement the ban to ensure flat plastic carrier bags are no longer supplied.

He also noted that 22 people were arrested in the grace period, including 12 from Mombasa and ten in Bomet, reported

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Under the rule, any person found selling, manufacturing or carrying plastic bags is liable for a fine up to $38,000 or can be imprisoned for up to four years.

Initiated as a measure to tackle the growing environmental pollution, the ban is estimated to impact nearly 80,000 jobs in the country.

With the implementation of the directive, Kenya joins Rwanda in Africa to impose a complete ban on plastic bags.