Ad­dress firms’ con­cerns

Business Daily (Kenya) - - EDITORIAL & OPINION -

As ex­pected, the com­ing into force of the ban on plas­tics has had pro­found im­pact on many busi­nesses – tak­ing with it hun­dreds of jobs. That is why Kenyans ex­pected the en­vi­ron­men­tal watch­dog to come up with clear reg­u­la­tions and pro­cesses to lessen the pain for stake­hold­ers, some of who are fac­ing griev­ous busi­ness con­se­quences.

That does not ap­pear to have hap­pened. Man­u­fac­tur­ers have com­plained that the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity (Nema) is ex­e­cut­ing the ban on plas­tics with a lot of opac­ity, com­pli­cat­ing the com­pli­ance ter­rain.

Last week, Nema asked all man­u­fac­tur­ers, im­porters and users of pri­mary pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als to ob­tain clear­ance let­ters in or­der to con­tinue in op­er­a­tion. How­ever, com­pa­nies say the process is com­plex and vague and has forced many man­u­fac­tur­ers to tem­po­rar­ily stop op­er­a­tions. Caught in the mid­dle is the poor con­sumer, who may not un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween pri­mary and sec­ondary pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als.

Some of the house­hold prod­ucts af­fected by the ban in­clude salt and maize flour. Farm­ers will also be hit hard as fer­tiliser packs fall among prod­ucts whose mak­ing has stopped, pend­ing set­tle­ment of the dif­fer­ences.

Both the con­sumer and econ­omy stand to lose un­less the is­sues raised by man­u­fac­tur­ers are ad­dressed as soon as pos­si­ble.

Caught in the mid­dle is the poor con­sumer

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