World

Kenya bans making, importing plastic bags; may fine $38,000

A ban on making and importing plastic bags has come into force in Kenya and those found in violation of the ban could be fined up to $38,000.

Thin plastic shopping bags litter the streets of Kenya's capital, Nairobi. They have created towering piles at dump sites.

Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mauritania and Malawi are among the countries that have adopted or announced such bans.

Some 100 million plastic bags are handed out every year in Kenya by supermarkets alone, according to the U.N. Environmental Program.

The Kenyan government says the bags harm the environment, block sewers and don't decompose.

Manufacturers have said the ban will cost jobs.