Home » It’s official: Kenya is banning plastic bags

It’s official: Kenya is banning plastic bags

written by Bex Shapiro March 22, 2017
Plastic bags Africa

Kenya has made the official decision to ban plastic bags, and it’s fair to say this is one great step in the right direction for the world of sustainability. Environment Minister Judi W. Wakhungu released the news to the public earlier this month, though it’ll take six months for the new measures to take full effect.

For context, banning plastic bags ain’t a new move for an African nation. Countries ranging from Rwanda to South Africa, Morocco to Ethiopia have all taken the admirable step in recent years, but it’s great news that another country is now on board. Especially such a heavyweight in the tourism industry.

As a carbon-neutral travel company, Intrepid has long been committed to responsible travel and minimizing the use of plastic on our trips. So, we think the plastic bag ban is awesome, and to explain why, let’s go through some of the issues associated with plastic bag usage. First off, they’re a massive cause of environmental damage, polluting precious land to no end. The health problems they wreak on birds, fish and animals who mistake them for food is massively problematic. And they also contribute to the millions of tons of plastic that leak into the ocean every year, causing yet more harm.

Of course, banning plastic bags is just one step in solving the problems they cause; it’s also all about changing the attitudes and actions of travelers and locals alike. But the announcement by Kenya’s Environment Minister is a smart step. As well as banning the use of plastic bags, the manufacture and importation of them will also be prevented.

There were actually moves to implement this ban 10 years ago, but it was met with more resistance than this time round (unsurprisingly, manufacturers have remained critical on both occasions). Kenya’s taking decisive action to protect its outstanding natural beauty is something we can all get on board with. After all, the East African nation has so much to offer travelers: safari-ready national parks, the dramatic Great Rift Valley, savannahs, mountains, coastline, and a whole lot more. Let’s ensure it’s preserved, so we can all enjoy it for years to come…

Can’t resist the allure of Kenya? Check out our 8-day Wildlife Safari trip there.

Image Credit: iStock

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2 comments

Gillian May 3, 2017 - 3:02 am

This is brilliant news. When we drove across Northern Kenya ten years ago there were plastic bags caught on every bush and tussock, even many miles from any settlement. Hopefully they will use local skills to make simple bags from local materials.

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rick March 25, 2017 - 12:30 pm

So they go back to paper bags & we lose trees & get more pollution then?

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