Plastic Ban Clarifications-Alternatives and Exemptions

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The compliance and enforcement technical team deliberated on the interpretation of the plastic ban gazette notice 2356 of 28th February 2017 and wishes to state as follows;

EXEMPTIONS 
Category 1: Plastic carrier bags

All bags in this category are banned. For clarity these are bags commonly known as “Juala” that are used as secondary packages for items in shops, markets etc. There is no contention in this category of plastic ban as there are NO EXEMPTIONS

Category 2: Flat bags

Flat bags used for carrying items outside industrial setting e.g. groceries, garbage, are banned. However, in this category EXEMPTION is extended for bags used for industrial primary packaging where the product is direct contact with the plastic and is done at the source. The exemption is subject to:

Extended Producer/User Responsibility and/or effective Take Back Schemes
Legibly and permanently labeled bags to indicate the name of the industry manufacturing the product, the end-user and physical addresses for ease of monitoring, traceability and therefore ease of enforcement intervention.
Keeping of inventory/record with the aim of implementing the take back scheme.

Category 3: Flat bags used as Garbage and hazardous (e.g. medical waste, chemicals etc.) waste liners.

Hazardous waste liners are exempted so long as they are legibly and permanently labeled (as indicated in 2 ii above) and color-coded and are incinerated together with the waste.
Garbage Liners are also exempted on condition that they are clearly labeled (as indicated in 2 ii above) and have demonstrated effective and efficient Extended Producer/User Responsibility and/or effective Take Back Schemes. The liners will NOT be dumped together with the waste but will be emptied and reused or recycled by the licensed waste collector and transporter (the end user).

Category 4: Duty Free shop bags

Plastic ban applies to the use, manufacture and importation of the banned plastics within Kenya. Since duty free shops at airports are considered to be outside the Kenyan territory, bags used at this point are not affected by the ban. However, any traveler coming into Kenya with duty free bags shall be required to leave the same at the entry points.

ALTERNATIVES
Following the above, the following guideline on the potential alternatives has been agreed with Kenya Bureau of Standards:

All bags made from non-plastic materials e.g. jute/sisal, Paper, cloth, Papyrus, Woven polypropylene plastic bags (gunny bags), Non-woven polypropylene plastic bags (cloth-like bags), Laminated polypropylene bags, Polyolefin fibre bags, 100% biodegradable bags (starch and cassava bags)

The 2nd & 3rd options are subject to the development of the standard by KEBs whose process has already started. The standard development will be based on the following parameters:-

The specific material;
Gauge;
Tensile Strength and;
Basting Strength
Toxicity of the material and its safety for use (Heavy metals will also be tested among others).

By Compliance and Enforcement Technical Team.

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