National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is calling for complementary support from County Governments in its bid to mop-up millions of tons of plastic waste.
NEMA made the appeal as it intensified public sensitization drives against use of plastic carrier and flat bags.
NEMA Management Board Chairman John Konchella said that regional governments must establish deliberate and efficient cleanup programs that would see users of the outlawed material dispose it at designated dropping points for appropriate disposal or recycling.
Speaking at a news conference held in Nakuru today, Konchella said common disposal areas of plastic carrier and flat bags across the country would enhance efficient recycling or elimination from sensitive ecological zones for a cleaner environment.
The Authority`s Director General Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu said NEMA has entered into short term arrangements with private solid waste collectors to use flat bags to collect solid waste and advised citizens to use flat bags for disposing household solid waste, pending NEMA`s release of biodegradable solid waste disposal bags in weeks to come.
Private solid waste collectors would still continue using flat plastic bags to collect medical waste until recommended alternatives are introduced into the market.
Prof. Wahungu, however, cautioned citizens against use of plastic flat bags to carry items other than solid waste, saying this would attract legal action against such users.
The Director General said public awareness campaigns against use of plastic carrier and flat bags would run alongside multi agency mop-up exercises along the country`s highways, which he says were heavily littered with plastic carrier bags making the areas an eye sore.
The Authority reported an impressive and tremendous support from stakeholders and in particular the political class and ordinary citizens who are in support of the exercise.
The Director General further said that NEMA and NTSA would soon formulate a policy on designated stop over points along the highways in a bid to ensure compliance with the set environmental standards.
The Ministry of Environment outlawed use of plastic carrier and flat bags two weeks ago amid widespread concerns on the ecological and health disaster the material had become over the years.
NEMA reports that urban dwellers in the country use an astounding 24 million plastic carrier and flat bags a month and their irresponsible disposal was taking a heavy toll on the country`s annual budget as a substantial amount of it goes to repair of massive damage by plastic waste.
NEMA has since approved alternative packaging methods that are currently available to the public at a small fee.