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Economy

Manufacturers lose bid to temporarily stop plastics ban

The ban on plastic carrier bags will take effect on Monday as scheduled after a court in Nairobi declined to suspend implementation. PHOTO | FILE | AFP
The ban on plastic carrier bags will take effect on Monday as scheduled after a court in Nairobi declined to suspend implementation. PHOTO | FILE | AFP 

Players in the plastic industry have suffered a setback after a court declined to suspend implementation of a Kenya Gazette notice stopping the use of carrier plastic bags.

Environment and Land Court Judge Bernard Mweresa Eboso on Friday said public interest tilts in favour of not granting the orders sought.

Plastic manufacturers and importers wanted the notice by the Ministry of Environment, which takes effect next week, temporarily stopped until their case is heard and determined.

The judge said the notice is intended to control plastic menace in the environment.

Commercial interests

"Granting the orders sought will severally undermine the protection of the environment while serving commercial interests," Justice Eboso said.

Though the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) had claimed they were not adequately consulted before implementation of the notice, the judge said a casual look at the documents filed in court demonstrated there were sufficient consultations.

The government and the plastic manufacturers have been in consultation since 2007 on the need to eradicate plastic waste from the environment.

The court said players in in plastic sector were adequately represented.

Public participation

He said the question on whether a criteria for public participation was met is something to be raised at the time of hearing.

The judge said section 86 of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA) empowers the Cabinet secretary to formulate policies aimed at conserving the environment.

The case will be heard on September 21.

Meanwhile, KAM sought and was granted permission to appeal the ruling.

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