Shopping in Nairobi may become more expensive

Residents of Nairobi may start paying for plastic bags they use for shopping goods if Governor Evans Kidero signs into law a new Bill approved by the County Assembly. The Nairobi County Plastic Control Bill 2016 says the county’s Environment department will set the price for the bags based on quality and size.

According to Nairobinews, the fee is designed to encourage re-use of the bags and reduce littering. It is also intended to encourage consumers to use alternative methods of carrying commodities in the fight against pollution. “No retailer shall make available to consumers any plastic bags free of charge,” the Bill sponsored by Umoja I Ward representative Njoroge Maina states.

The Bill will apply to the entire supermarkets, large stores, small corner shops and grocery stores. Retailers in breach of the law risk a jail term not exceeding one year or a maximum fine of Sh 3 million or both. “The main object of this Bill is to outline legislative measures for controlling the manufacture, usage and disposal of plastic carry bags… so as to conserve, restore and maintain a clean environment and control pollution within the precincts of Nairobi City County,” Mr Maina says in the Bill’s memorandum.

Introduction of the fee will further choke households already struggling to make ends meet.

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