Proud to be a plastic free Kenyan...
Once again Kenya is in the media spotlight and I'm proud to say, it's for all the right reasons! The long awaited countrywide ban on plastic bags has come into effect. Complete and countrywide – and in doing so, Kenya has put itself front and centre stage of the growing worldwide #Plasticrevolution. Today I am proud to be a Kenyan!
The ban is big news nationally, but also across the world as Kenya's ban is one of the toughest laws worldwide. A brilliant example of an African nation leading not following.... a small sample of the international media coverage is below;
Whilst the ban has by and large been welcomed by the public, it has inevitably been met with predictable resistance from plastic bag manufacturers and there are several areas that are still to be clarified it would seem.
The National Environmental Management Authority remains adamant that this is, "a done deal." The manufacturers main grievance was that there was not enough time to given for transition but Kenyas Environment Minister Prof Wakhungu has said on many occasions; "this is the third time we have tried to enforce the ban over the past ten years so there has been plenty of time!"
#BanPlasticBagsKE has been trending across social media with the government working around the clock to address numerous questions and more importantly, lay down a practical framework to roll out the ban effectively. And we are thrilled that many social media activists who once populated the web with pictures of clogged rivers and drains, livestock eating plastic are now showing what life is like in Plastic Bag free Kenya.
Kenya's environmental activists, especially James Wakibia who has been at the forefront of campaigning against the plastic bag have much to proud of. As the famous Margaret Meads quote goes:
"... never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has..."