The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has implemented a new directive mandating the use of 100 per cent biodegradable garbage bags for organic waste collection.

This move announced via a public notice dated April 8, 2024, aims to streamline waste management practices and promote environmental sustainability.

"The use of conventional plastic bags/ bin liners for collection of organic waste shall thus cease forthwith," NEMA stated in a recent public notice.

The directive comes into effect 90 days after the notice's issuance, requiring households, businesses, and public institutions to segregate organic waste and dispose of it in designated biodegradable bags.

Waste collectors are also obligated to provide these biodegradable alternatives to their clients and ensure separate collection for organic waste streams.

This initiative aligns with the provisions of the Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022, which mandates waste segregation and designated collection for organic and non-organic fractions.

NEMA emphasizes the importance of proper waste management for a healthy environment, highlighting the role of biodegradable bags in facilitating the processing of organic waste at Material Recovery Facilities.

The ban on traditional plastic garbage bags specifically targets those used for organic waste collection.

Other plastic applications are not mentioned in the directive, and their use is likely subject to separate regulations.

NEMA's directive represents a significant step towards Kenya's environmental goals.

By promoting biodegradable waste management practices, the country aims to reduce plastic pollution and enhance the efficiency of organic waste processing.