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Single use plastics ban

Ban on single use plastics

After banning the polythene bags in February 2017, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry also felt the need to upscale this initiative by addressing pollution by other plastics especially the single use plastics with a priority on PET bottles. In September 2017, it extended a ban on the use of the disposable PET bottles in Karura Forest and the National reserves and Game Parks, a move aimed at conserving and protecting animals and nature within this ecosystem. This helped to minimize pollution in the parks. However, this restriction was not legislated.
The President of Kenya on 4th June 2019 announced a ban on single use plastics in all protected areas, including: National Parks, beaches, forests and conservation areas, effective June 2020. This directive was legislated on 5th June 2019 by the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, through Gazette Notice No.4858, while exercising powers conferred under section 116(2) (d) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013. The government banned the use of plastic bottles, straws and related products within the protected areas in the national parks, national reserves, conservation areas and any other designated wildlife protected areas from 4th June 2020. The prohibition through Gazette 4858 buttresses and codifies the earlier one by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in 2017 and expands the products and scope to other protected areas around the country.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry consulted diverse lead agencies and the private sector players such as KAM and PETCO Kenya to agree on implementation of this ban. There is consensus that the following items constitute single use plastics, which are the subject of the ban: –

1. Cotton buds
2. Cutlery, plates, straws and stirrers
3. Sticks for balloons and balloons
4. Food containers (some fractions of plastic polymer)
5. Cups for beverages (some fractions of plastic polymer)
6. Beverage containers (PET bottles)
7. Cigarette butts
8. Bags
9. Crips packets, sweet wrappers, bread bags and confectionery wrappers
10. Wet wipes and sanitary items.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry developed the Single Use Plastics Implementation Guidelines to guide on implementation of the SUPs ban. The ban is currently being implemented.


    1. What are Kenya's protected areas?
    2. What plastic products are banned from protected areas?