Amid the continuous pressures of traders and environmentalist of the country, Kenya’s high court has finally decided to ban the use of plastic bags.
With the ruling, Kenya becomes the latest country to ban plastic bags, a stringent move that the country has ever done.
The law sets penalties and violations which includes fines of up to $38,000 and up to four years in prison.
The legality of the law took effect on Monday August 28, with offenders subject to serious fines or jail time.
Furthermore, the ban covers the use, importation, or manufacture of plastic bags.
The law was already passed in February, the new ban didn’t go into effect until this month so that Kenyan consumers would have the chance to adjust to the change.
Also, the interval gave importers a chance to challenge the ban in court, which were ultimately rejected by the country’s High Court.
As of now, Kenya joined dozens of countries and cities (such as New Delhi, India) that have restricted, levied, or completely banned the use of plastic bags.
Noted on Kenya’s law, however, is notably harsh: imposing fines of up to $38,000 (32,000 euros) and prison sentences of up to four years. Neither plastic bin liners nor plastic-wrapped goods violate the law.
According to UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the law is an important step in Kenya, where supermarkets alone distribute as many as 100 million plastic bags annually.