Kenya National Environment Management Authority bans the use of garbage plastic bags & Bin Liners, Ksh20,000 fine Imposed

In a recent announcement, NEMA highlighted the government’s 2017 prohibition on the production, importation, and utilization of plastic carrier bags and flat bags for commercial and household packaging. Emphasizing the importance of compliance, the Authority indicated a forthcoming crackdown to ensure full adherence to these regulations.

Addressing the management of organic waste, NEMA issued a directive stipulating that within 90 days from the date of the notice, all organic waste from households, private and public institutions, religious entities, as well as events, must be segregated and placed exclusively in 100 percent biodegradable garbage bags or bin liners.

Furthermore, households were instructed to separately collect organic waste for transportation to designated Material Recovery Facilities for further processing, with NEMA explicitly prohibiting the use of traditional plastic bags or bin liners for this purpose.

To ensure nationwide implementation, all county governments and private waste service providers licensed by NEMA were mandated to supply clients with the specified biodegradable garbage bags and bin liners.

NEMA’s decision to enforce this ban aligns with Section 12 of the Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022, which mandates the segregation of non-hazardous waste into organic and non-organic categories by both public and private sector entities.

In addition, homeowners and households were required to label and color-code their bins, containers, and bags for segregated waste, with waste service providers instructed to collect, handle, and transport the segregated waste accordingly.

Failure to comply with this directive, as outlined in the Sustainable Waste Management Act, could result in fines up to Ksh20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both, upon conviction.