By Winnie Maina | Thursday Sep 21, 2017
The Kenyan government has now announced that disposable plastic bottles will no longer be allowed past the gates of Karura Forest and Nairobi National Park. This comes just three weeks following the ban of polythene bags in August,
The prohibition which is an initiative of the Friends of Karura group applies to the polyethylene terephthalate disposable water bottles commonly used by bottlers or any other plastic material. An exception has been made to the heavy- duty reusable plastic bottles.
A declaration by the Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu was made at Karura Forest on Tuesday. The CS said that in order to make all protected areas plastic free they would be extending the ban to the other areas at a later date.
“At the Karura gates, you will be asked to declare any plastics you have with you. And if you have any, you’ll kindly be asked to put it in a container provided at the gate,” said the CS. “That way, we will ensure that visitors do not litter the forest when they leave.”
She said that they were having discussion with the manufactures and recyclers and soon the government will implement the ban on disposable plastic bottles nationally
The CS noted that it had only been 3 weeks since the ban on plastic bags and the progress was significant and she was looking forward to see the progress in six months and Kenyans who do not want to use plastic bottles have a choice to start using the alternatives
She hinted that Kenyans requested they were not ready for the ban on the plastic bottles but just as they are adjusting to the polythene bag ban, in time they will eventually have to adjust and also do away with the plastic bottles.
Emilio Mugo the Kenya Forest Service Director, said he had already given a directive to all field people around the country to enforce ban on any plastics around forest reserves and protected areas under their mandate.