Kenya becomes latest African nation to ban plastic bags

Kenya's government is banning the manufacture and import of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging.

Environment Minister Judi W. Wakhungu gave the order published in a gazette notice dated Feb. 28. The new measures will take effect six months from the date of the notice.

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

Kenya is the latest African country to ban plastic bags.

Mauritania imposed a ban in 2013, saying an estimated 70 percent of cattle and sheep in the capital were dying from ingesting them, according to the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute.

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