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

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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.

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