February 17, 2020

High Court issues final judgment in plastics ban case

High Court has on Friday (25/8/17) quashed an application seeking to temporarily suspend the government-initiated ban on plastic bags.

Environment and Land Court Judge Eboso Benard Mweresa noted that environment protection overrides commercial interests, hence, the ban will continue as planned.

Mweresa said granting such an order would offend the country’s constitutional and legal framework on protection and management of the environment.

“Granting the order would severely injure the public interest general environmental welfare of the Kenyan people which requires recognition and protection and the totality of the natural environment in which requires state protection,” he ruled.

The court also rejected assertions by the petitioners that they stand to suffer irreparable economic loss if the injunction is not granted pending determination of the case.

“This would mean that the offensive plastic bags continue to suffocate the environment to the detriment of the Kenyan population while serving the commercial interests of a section of the plastic bags dealers,” Mweresa added.

In March, Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu announced that Kenya would ban plastic bags, a move that was quickly appreciated by a majority of people who lauded her for her huge step of protecting the country’s environment and natural resources which was quickly being eroded by waste.

Kenya is among the few countries that are yet to effectively ban the use of plastic bags, unlike their counterparts Rwanda who have succeeded on the ban.

“The ban will bring back the glory of Kenya in its nature and natural resources,” noted Wakhungu, “Driving around you can’t help but notice the how much plastic bags have suffocated our environment.”

This will be the third time that Kenya will be trying to ban plastic bags after trying so in 2007 and 2011.

The ban in use of plastic bags in 2007 and 2011 mainly focused on reducing the thickness of the bags to 30 microns and 60 microns respectively, an agenda Wakhungu said was achieved.

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