Ban on plastic bags has significantly improved the cleanliness and the beauty of the Coastal beaches. This is according to Shipping and Maritime principal secretary Nancy Karigithu who said the beaches are now attracting more both local and international tourists.
Speaking during a beach clean-up exercise to mark the Africa Day of Seas and Oceans celebrations at the Milele beach hotel in Bamburi, Mombasa county, Ms Karigithu said there was now less plastic litter and the beaches are looking far better compared to the time before the ban was enforced.
"The total ban on plastic has had a big impact. There is little or no plastic litter on our beaches compared to previous years where we used to collect hundreds of kilogrammes of plastic bags," said Ms Karigithu.
During the exercise organised by Women in the Maritime Eastern and Southern Africa (Womesa), the PS urged Kenyans to raise the standards of environment conservation saying the garbage that goes to the sea could end up in the food chain.
More than 200 people drawn from the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Seafarers Union of Kenya (SUK), Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL), Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (Pmaesa) and Bandari Maritime Academy among others, took part in cleaning the beaches.
Africa Day of Seas and Oceans provides an opportunity to alert and sensitise coastal populations on how to contribute in mitigating the impact of pollution on the marine environment and the threats to marine life due to waste, especially plastics, which are often abandoned in coastal areas and at sea.
The coast beaches have put Kenyan on the world map with Diani being voted the best destination in Africa this year for the sixth time.
Environment and Natural Resources secretary gazetted the ban on plastics on February 28, 2017. The ban took effect on August 28 the same year.
The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has since been enforcing the ban leading to a cleaner environment in many parts of the country.