The Kenyan Government on Monday warned that from August 28 anyone caught with plastic bags would be arrested, charged or fined between 19,417 dollars and 38,834 dollars.
Kenya announced a ban on the use of plastic bags in March, giving manufacturers a six-month grace period as the order takes effect on Aug. 28.
A notice from the Ministry of Environment also banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging.
According to the ministry, the ban targeted carrier bags with handles, with or without gussets, or flat bags without handles and with or without gussets.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers has objected the ban and asked the Ministry of Environment to reconsider it, citing job losses as tens of factories would close and fire their workers.
The ban would not only affect industries that rely on plastics for packaging but the entire value chain.
Millions of livelihoods are at stake.
The ministry said the ban does not affect industrial packaging, but this has not been backed up legally, according to the association.
Environmentalists and some consumers, however, are happy with the ban noting it was long overdue.
Kenya uses up to 24 million plastic bags monthly, with half ending up in the environment due to poor disposal.
“The environment including water bodies are chocked by the plastics killing marine life.
“This is the best thing to happen to our country and the ministry should not turn back. Rwanda did it, why not us?’’ posed Herman while contributing on a social media debate.