21 February 2018

Kenya: MCAs Want Retail Stores to Offer Free Shopping Bags

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Kisumu County Assembly on Wednesday passed a motion to compel retail shops to stop charging customers for carrier bags.

The move means retail stores, including supermarkets, will offer customers free packaging if Governor Anyang' Nyong'o's team agrees with the ward reps.

The House committee on Environment and Industry is set to come up with a report on the matter in two weeks and present it to the assembly.

Mr Gard Olima, South West Nyakach MCA, moved the motion, citing the burden placed on the consumer by the retail outlets.

The national government's ban on plastic bags came into effect last August.

The proscription is being enforced by the National Environment and Management Authority.

Mr Olima accused supermarkets of abdicating their role of packaging shopping for customers.

He added that some people have been subjected to reusing shopping bags, which he said is not a good thing.

"The way supermarkets pack items has become unhygienic, contrary to the Public Health Act and its regulations," Mr Olima said, noting that detergents are mixed with things like bread and maize flour.

Supermarkets currently charge from Sh10 to Sh50 for the eco-friendly bags, depending on the size the customer chooses.

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