The use of plastic garbage bags and garbage bin liners is now prohibited by law.

On Monday, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) mandated that all organic waste from homes, businesses, and events be separated and only put in garbage bags or bin liners that are completely biodegradable.

According to NEMA, the waste needs to be gathered apart from other kinds of waste and taken to material recovery facilities for additional processing.

“The use of conventional plastic bags/ bin liners for the collection of organic waste shall thus cease forthwith,” said the environmental authority in a public notice.

Biodegradable trash bags and bin liners must be supplied to customers by county governments and commercial waste management companies.

According to NEMA, the directive must be carried out within ninety days of the notice date, which is April 8.

Kenya outlawed the production, importation, and use of polythene plastic bags in 2017. Although Kenyans have largely shifted to more environmentally friendly options, the country still uses plastic bags to collect waste.

On Monday, NEMA restated that garbage bags and bin liners were included in the prohibition on plastic carrier bags and flat bags.

Offenders facing up to a four-year prison sentence or a Ksh.4 million fine were subject to the ban.

All public and private sector organizations are required by the Sustainable Waste Management Act (2022) to separate non-hazardous waste into organic and non-organic fractions before placing it in appropriately labeled and color-coded bins, containers, and bags so that waste service providers can collect, handle, and transport it.