EDITORIAL: Implementation of plastic bags ban must be orderly

Plastic bags will no longer be used as ban takes effect next week. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Plastic bags will no longer be used as ban takes effect next week. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The ban on plastic bags takes effect today after manufacturers lost their bid to stop its implementation on Friday.

We urge that implementation of the plastic bags ban be done in an orderly manner.

The authorities should not rush to make arbitrary arrests since the ultimate goal must be to clean up the environment.

Caution is needed as the ban is effected to ensure that the enforcement officers don’t harass ordinary citizens.

The government should ensure that personnel effecting the ban don’t use it as a means of extorting bribes.

For the manufacturers, all is not lost after losing their court bid to reverse the ban on Friday.

They should now set out to learn from their counterparts in other African countries like Rwanda, which have successfully banned plastic bags.
We all know that when change arrives there is always bound to be stiff opposition, but gradually it becomes acceptable.

The government was adamant that it would not suspend the plastics ban after holding talks with manufacturers for 10 years.

The damage wrought by plastic bags on the environment is enormous and it is going to take years to clean-up. We have all seen how plastic bags choke our ecosystem. For example, supermarkets used to dish out 100 million plastic bags to shoppers annually.

Plastic bags not only harm animals. fish and birds, but also pose a serious threat to human lives.

The National Environment Management Authority must now scale up education programmes for the masses to enlighten them on how to adopt alternative green solutions.

Eco-friendly carrier bags like baskets should be mass produced to make them cheaper for Kenyans This can be achieved by offering incentives to manufacturers.

The onus is now on these manufacturers to adopt eco-friendly bags in their production processes.

We owe it to current and future generations to ensure that our environment is made conducive for life.