Supermarkets must provide free eco-friendly bags


Demand for old newspapers has increased following the ban on plastic bags. FILE PHOTO | NMG



  • Supermarkets had better style up and be of good service to customers.
  • Packaging bags are accounted for in their expenses so they should provide them.

It’s now about two weeks since the plastic ban came into effect and I am happy with everything I see, except one: supermarkets.

Supermarkets have identified a cash making opportunity where they are selling to customers alternative non-woven packaging bags that are so transparent that everyone sees what you have in the bag.

I do not understand why I have to buy this yet I used to get a free branded plastic paper bag before.

If my shopping was bulky I would get two papers bags to hold the weight, and inside I would have multiple bags separating the items. I would then leave the supermarket and freely advertise to everyone that I shop at whatever supermarket I was coming from.

Take out joints and other vendors have already complied with the ban without passing the cost directly to the customer.

Butchers are back to the butcher paper for wrapping meat, fast foods use the brown coffee bags and even the roadside food vendors selling maize, sweet potatoes, and cooked cereals use coffee bags for your order.

If I look at it from another perspective, with every trip to the supermarket I get to buy more of these non-woven bags which I will later use in my house and for running errands.

I will buy fruit and vegetables at the market using these bags, I will carry my office lunch in this, and I will transport anything in them!
And the best part is that they are plain, no branding on them! So it is a bit of a win to me, but I still do not like it.

READ: Consumer lobby Cofek wants non-plastic bags zero-rated

Supermarkets had better style up and be of good service to customers. Packaging bags are accounted for in their expenses so they should provide them.

If you want it to make sense then think of it as free advertising just like before. The Consumer Federation of Kenya should intervene in this because it doesn’t make sense.

And to the National Environment Management Authority, how about you conduct a drive in the estates to trade in plastic paper bags for something more environmentally friendly and one that will do the same job?

I still have a large paper bag full of other paper bags and I am reluctant to throw them away because I will still use them to line my garbage bin and freeze food and do other things with them.

Provide an alternative and I will throw them away. But for now, they stay.

Wanjiku Kamiro, via email


Police officers who killed cows should be prosecuted

The recent killing of cows in Samburu by police officers was shocking. A news item that aired on NTV reported how 68 cows were killed in Samburu.

Perhaps the first question to ask is, how can a person kill such a huge number of cattle intentionally? And to add onto that, was there no alternative way to handle this situation?

In my view there is always another recourse and solution for every hurdle that comes our way. The only challenge is choosing the right option.

And the officers who killed these cows chose the easy way out and left a road less travelled.

A woman among the owners of the cattle lamented and wondered why any normal person in their right state of mind could hurt the harmless creatures. And if by any chance, the cattle were a nuisance then appropriate measures should have been adopted.

Additionally this is somebody else’s investment, actually if calculation could be done of how much the farmers have lost, it is definitely huge.
Without a doubt, this level of misconduct on the part of our officers in unacceptable.

Police officers responsible for this gruesome act need to be apprehended and charged. An old man also shared his grievances regarding this obnoxious behaviour and at that moment his pain became my pain.

Leah Nyasuna, photographer and blogger, via email