Nema, man­u­fac­tur­ers now form team to re­solve plas­tic ban cri­sis

Business Daily (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - Brian Ngugi bn­joroge@ke.na­tion­media.com

En­vi­ron­men­tal watch­dog Nema yes­ter­day struck a deal with man­u­fac­tur­ers to es­tab­lish a joint cri­sis com­mit­tee that will re­solve out­stand­ing is­sues aris­ing from the ban on plas­tic

bags.

The tech­ni­cal teams drawn from the Kenya As­so­ci­a­tion of Man­u­fac­tur­ers (KAM) and the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity (Nema) will seek to iron out op­er­at­ing chal­lenges as­so­ci­ated with ban.

The de­ci­sion was made at a stormy meet­ing that brought to­gether

Nema di­rec­tor­gen­eral Ge­of­frey Wahungu and about 500 man­u­fac­tur­ers of plas­tic bags who had sus­pended op­er­a­tions, pend­ing clar­ity on the ban that came into force on Mon­day.

Man­u­fac­ture, im­por­ta­tion and use of plas­tic bags for pri­mary in­dus­trial pack­ag­ing and garbage col­lec­tion were, how­ever, ex­empted from the ban.

Nema had last week asked all man­u­fac­tur­ers, im­porters and users of plas­tic bags for pri­mary in­dus­trial pack­ag­ing to ob­tain clear­ance let­ters al­low­ing them to con­tinue in the busi­ness.

Pro­duc­ers of the bags, how­ever, said they had been forced to sus­pend op­er­a­tions on Tues­day be­cause of “com­plex­i­ties in ob­tain­ing clear­ance,” from Nema.

Yes­ter­day, Prof Wahungu de­fended a take-back scheme and a plan to com­pel con­sumer goods com­pa­nies and the in­dus­trial pack­ag­ing firms to la­bel their

pack­ag­ing ma­te­rial, say­ing it was nec­es­sary to en­sure the ex­emp­tions made for pri­mary pack­ag­ing are not abused. Man­u­fac­tur­ers are seek­ing clar­ity on the two.

Prof Wahungu said the en­vi­ron­ment watch­dog would fast-track the clear­ance process to en­able the man­u­fac­tur­ers get back to busi­ness.

“We will fast-track the process so you can all go back to work,” said the Nema boss even as he in­sisted there would be no turning back from the plas­tic bags ban. Man­u­fac­tur­ers who have fiercely op­posed the ban, how­ever, com­plained that it had been rushed.

“What we be­lieve as an as­so­ci­a­tion is we need a clean en­vi­ron­ment and eco­nomic devel­op­ment. The mid­dle ground is sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. We want a sit­u­a­tion that is a win-win for ev­ery Kenyan,” said KAM chief ex­ec­u­tive Phyl­lis Waki­aga.

Pres­sure con­tin­ued to pile on the en­vi­ron­men­tal watch­dog to en­sure a smooth im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ban that will not ad­versely af­fect in­dus­tries.

“The ban is a sig­nif­i­cant step to pro­tect na­ture, but let ev­ery­one be in­cluded in its im­ple­men­ta­tion,” said the As­so­ci­a­tion of Kenya Sup­pli­ers chair­man Ki­mani Ru­gendo in a state­ment.

Nema had said ear­lier the ban ap­plies to car­rier bags and flat bags con­structed with han­dles and with or with­out gus­sets.

DIANA NGILA

CLAR­ITY KAM chief ex­ec­u­tive Phyl­lis Waki­aga.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.