Market News

Traders stuck with plastic bag stocks

Plastic wastes harm the environment. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI
Plastic wastes harm the environment. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI 

Traders in Nairobi County are unprepared for the start of a ban on use of plastic bags, posing a challenge to its implementation.

A spot check on Wednesday showed most traders were still using the non-recyclable plastic bags, with some having sizeable stocks.

Elizabeth Akinyi, a plastic bag retailer, expects the ban to hit her monthly sales estimated at Sh4.8 million.

Ms Akinyi, who also serves clients from nearby towns such as Murang’a, Kiambu, Ruiru and Machakos, posed: “What do we do with the paper bags? We cannot throw away what we have. We have to exhaust them as we await the ban. The loss is imminent.” She indicated her hopes lies with a case filed in the High Court by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) challenging the ban.

Mercy Weru, an onion seller at Muthurwa Market, said the ban would hit her business hard as customers prefer plastic bags.

“How will I convince a man for example to carry onions worth Sh100 in those eco-friendly reusable bags?” she asked.

Another plastic bag vendor George Kinyanjui based in Gikomba market said the ban will render him jobless.

Mr Kinyanjui who has been in the plastic bag business for the last five years making between Sh3,500 to Sh5,000 a day said his life is set to change for the worse.

“I make between Sh3,500 to Sh5,000 per daily in sale of plastic bag in this market. This means that I will be left with no customers. I don’t know how my life will be after the ban.”