Polythene taxed in Uganda, Kenya

Published: Wednesday 15 August 2007

A ban against the use of polythene bags in Uganda and a raise in duties on plastic bags in Kenya this month has evoked strong criticism from people. The ban and duty was to check the piles of rubbish that littered the urban areas in both the countries.

The ban has hit small businesses like sachet and packet makers for water, juices, milk and other beverages and edibles. Under the new regulations, companies are forbidden from producing, importing or using plastic bags in Uganda. Instead of using polythene shopping and packaging bags, which are locally known as kaveera, Ugandan officials have asked people to use banana leaves, the traditional material for carrying goods.

Kenya, too, recently passed a new by-law prohibiting the manufacture or use of polythene carry bags of less than 30 microns thickness. A hefty 120 per cent excise duty was imposed on plastic polythene bags.

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