Kenyan street vendors are facing FOUR YEARS in prison for using prohibited plastic bags while trying to sell cane
- Kenya introduced the ban on plastic bags in 2017 with the most severe penalties in the world
- People who are caught making or using it are fined £ 32,000 or four years in prison
- Three street vendors in Nairobi were arrested for using the bags on Monday
- Kenyans ran to their defense and urged authorities to focus on the manufacturers
Three Kenyan street traders stand behind bars for four years for breaking the strict ban on plastic bags.
The men were packed with about 500 bags while selling plums, passion fruit and sugar cane in Nairobi and were taken to court today.
After severe penalties introduced as part of an environmentalist approach in 2017, they can be beaten with a fine of up to £ 32,000 or up to four years in prison.
But while the vendors are staring at the barrel of a possible prison sentence, they seem to have gained sympathy from the corners of the public who push back against the determination that focuses on poor vendors rather than manufacturers.
Three Kenyan street traders stand behind bars for four years for breaking the strict ban on plastic bags
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) tweeted a photo of the trio holding the clear plastic bags of fruit
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) tweeted a photo of the trio holding the clear plastic bags of fruit.
Kenyans quickly queued to train against the harsh measures taken by people caught with plastic.
Giitwa Gichuki said: ‘Although I do not sympathize with someone who uses the forbidden bags, this is too low for you.
“Extremely low, taking into account the fact that the unscrupulous dealers who are responsible for the production and delivery of the polythene bags in bulk walk around freely.”
A user named Samantha replied: “This is low even for NEMA. NEMA cannot do basic things such as drawing up local waste separation and recycling policies for the public or even inventing plastic recycling companies, but they can harass poor people.
Although the maximum sentence may result in bag ban abusers being thrown in jail, most offenders are fined with a fine between £ 380 and £ 1,000.
When the ban in 2017 was on its way to becoming a law, the plastic industry fiercely resisted, warning of 80,000 job losses.
While the sellers are staring through the course of a prison sentence, they seem to have won sympathy among the public and to push back against the determination that is aimed at poor sellers instead of manufacturers
But the government went ahead with the legislation regardless and Kenya is now seen as one of the strictest bans in the world.
Although this is a reason to complain by street vendors trying to make ends meet, the regulator has followed the policy.
David Ong’are, NEMA’s enforcement director, told the Guardian in 2018: “Our streets are generally cleaner, which has brought about a general” feel-good “factor.
‘You no longer see cooler bags flying around when the wind blows. Waterways are less impeded.
“Fishermen on the coast and Lake Victoria see few bags entangled in their nets.”
Africa has largely waged the global war against plastic bags, with countries such as Rwanda, Mauritania and Eritrea imposing similar prohibitions.