When I was younger, it was so exciting listening to the sound of plastic bags as Mum entered the house with loads of commodities. Imagining whether there was soda there or crisps was always thrilling. Plastic bags have also served us women well – as that reliable cap in your handbag to save your perm on unexpected rainy days. But with the signature of approval from Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, the announcement on the ban of the commercial use of plastic bags was made and the notorious carrier bags yielding mysterious goods can no longer feature in the grasp of busy Kenyans going about their business.
As one of the shockers of 2017, Kenyans were given 6 months to shift to the environmentally-friendly plan B (using cloth bags) or risk being thrown in jail for 4 years or pay a fine of Ksh. 4 million.
Although it renders our routines and businesses disorganized, it was about time they were banned. The first step in the business unusual approach to human solid waste management is to reduce the amount of waste produced. Previously, these bags accumulated in the form of that large plastic bag filled with other plastic bags in our homesteads, or by riverbanks, roadsides, or dumpsites…I could go on.
To save yourself from simply replacing them with material bags now in major stores; invest in bags designated for shopping. If you don’t own a Kiondo (woven basket), I found 3 sources of beautiful shopping totes designed to last for different types of shoppers.
Asili Boutique’s Kitenge Bags.
Each market tote up for grabs is unique, pretty and affordable (Ksh. 350). You can conveniently fold the bag into your handbag to carry until you’re in a shop! Or just wear it, since the fabric designs are cool.
Their bags are great for the hustle and bustle of weekdays as the trip to shops for essentials are often last-minute plans. Do you have some material lying around, waiting to be used? The creatives at Asili Boutique are ready to make a bags for you: www.asiliboutique.com
Michael Soi Bags
Michael’s boldly colored prints make for a timeless bag you’d be more than happy to use. Plus, how cute is the artwork?
They are more of a Saturday or Sunday morning shopping bag. Scratch that, I bet you’ll carry it every day!
There’s one for men too!
Blackfly’s Soko Bags
Designer Ruth Abade and her team have created the perfect bag for the constant shopper. This is the up-cycled bag that’s great for carrying goods while adding flair to your outfit. www.blackfly.co.ke
If not for you, think of someone you know who loves to shop or is always sent to the shops and let them know.
The lack of bags to carry the dirtiest and wettest of goods is still a problem enough to spark innovation. If you haven’t embraced the ban yet, time to get creative!
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