Tourists: Don’t take plastic bags to Kenya or face 4 years in prison


Four years in jail for having a plastic bag. This is the maximum penalty in Kenya. FInes are $19.000 to $38.000 – and penalties are the world’s harshest.

Tourists are warned: Don’t import or carry plastic bags.

Kenya is adjusting to life without plastic bags after a strict ban on the carriers went into effect this week. Traders in Nairobi swapped out the cheap lightweight plastic bags for cartons, paper bags, and envelopes, while grocery stores sold reusable fiber bags and cardboard boxes.

Elsewhere, restaurants in Nairobi are packaging food deliveries in spare shoe boxes and other containers. Photos of a school girl in eastern Kenya who improvised a bag made out of dried banana leaves circulated social media. Others tied string around their vegetables for easier transport. Residents have been asked to drop off their plastic bags at local grocery stores.

View image on Twitter



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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.