Putting the Cart Before the Horse? Traders’ Compliance with Kenya’s Ban on Plastic Carrier Bags

Odhiambo, E. G., & Mutune, J. M.

Plastic bags are non-biodegradable materials and consequently harmful to the environment. In spite of that, plastic is light and easy to make hence the increased production across the globe. This study was conducted in the aftermaths of Kenya’s ban on plastic bags with the intention of analyzing how traders have complied with the ban. Compliance levels were reported to be lower in Kibera (30%) compared to Karen (60%). The banned plastic carrier bags were still in circulation and manufacturers blamed poor enforcement from the government and porous borders. Purportedly, traders were not given time to prepare and comply neither were they adequately consulted. The low compliance levels were attributed to limited public participation of the traders hence the need to adopt a circular economy model where every item is of value and consumers are able to reduce, recycle, reuse and relevant government agencies able to provide ecofriendly and affordable alternatives.