A visit to Nakumatt yesterday showed how the supermarket is trying to lead the proposed Kenya plastic bag ban by not packing any more shopping in plastic/polythene bags.
Neighboring Rwanda has had a plastic bag ban for a few years, and is now famed for its enforcement of the ban which has contributed to greener and cleaner image of the country. But the plastic ban was a shock, and the Government needs to champion consumer awareness before enforcement, and target food manufacturers, kiosks, fast food vendors, and the informal sector, which are all heavily dependent on the thin plastic packaging. While some have commented that cash-strapped Nakumatt is cutting back on overheads such as free bags to shoppers, at the checkout line, Nakumatt offers customers #ThinkGreenGoBlue eco-bags which retail for 75/= large and 50/= small.
In a recent interview, Environment Secretary Judi Wakhungu who gazetted a ban on use of plastic bags, which is set to come into effect in September. She said it will be done in phases, as she spoke about the urgent need to clamp down on plastics, which has the support of most Kenyans and countered claims of job losses as a result of the ban
All you have to do is just go outside Nairobi. And how will you know you are approaching a town or a city? You will see plastic bags everywhere.
EDIT On the plastic deadline date (Aug 28) Nakumatt now packs shopping in some hybrid thing white bags that it sells for Kshs 5/= each.