The business community in Kisii County has petitioned the national government to reverse the ban it seeks to impose on plastic bags.

Speaking to the press in Kisii Town, plastic bag vendors and consumers of the product asked the government to reverse the ban since it will render many people jobless.

In a gazette notice dated February 27, 2017, Cabinet Secretary for Environmental Management and Natural Resources, Judy Wakhungu said the ban on the use of plastic bags will take effect in six months.

According to the CS, the ban will include importation, manufacture and use of the plastic bags and it is in line with environmental management.

The bags are categorized as carrier bags constructed with handles and with or without gussets, or flat bags without handles and with or without gussets.

Lucas Omwenga Osoro, a plastic bag vendor who has been in the business for a period of five years in Kisii Town said that if implemented, the ban will greatly affect his family as he depends on the venture as his only source of income.

“Since there is no employment in Kenya, I decided to start this business to earn a living for my family. For the five years I have engaged in the business, my kids have never lacked food or clothing. It will be a huge blow if the government makes good its threat to ban the use of the bags,” he said.

Plastic bag ban causing a stir in Kisii as residents seek to petition their ban

Plastic bag ban causing a stir in Kisii as residents seek to petition their ban. Photo: Huffington Post

Osoro asked the government to create more job opportunities for the many youth who will be rendered jobless once the ban is implemented.

Gladys Kwamboka who is a vegetable seller harbors fears of being robbed off her customers if the impending ban is implemented.

She asked the government to reconsider the stand, saying that if implemented it will lead to increased criminal activities as more youth will be rendered jobless.

John Nyameya, a butcher in Kisii Town said that his business will be affected since plastic bags are effective in packaging of meat compared to newspapers.

“If we put meat in newspapers they wet so easily compared to plastic bags. This compromises hygiene.

However, Albert Ogeto who owns a shop in Kisii Town supported the ban as he urged the government to come with an alternative.

“Plastic bags are a menace in this country. The government should make good the threat and ban the use of the papers. If you walk around Town you will never fail to collide with the papers on the streets. The papers equally present a huge problem to farmers since they don’t decompose and can lead to the death of livestock if eaten. We need a lasting solution to this,” he said.

Rwanda is the only Country in Eastern Africa region to have effectively managed to ban use plastic bags.