Packaging of food using plastic materials poses health risk to consumers as plastics produce toxic chemicals when exposed to high temperatures.
The Kericho law courts chief magistrate Mr. Charles Obulutsa said that plastic materials when exposed to food under high temperatures produces toxic substances which are harmful to human beings.
He was speaking during the World Environment Day held at Litein high school in Kericho County whose theme was based on the ‘Solutions to plastic pollution.’
Mr. Obulutsa who represented Kericho High Court Judge-Justice Sergon at the function noted that since being posted to Kericho as the chief magistrate, not a single case of plastic has been brought before the court.
He urged the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and security agencies to decisively act on illegal suppliers of single use plastics which were rampant in Litein town, Kericho and other urban centres in Kericho.
Mr. Obolutsa suspected that the single use plastics which was popular among grocery and other small business traders in packaging food products for their customers were emanating from a neighbouring country.
He maintained that it was the responsibility of all Kenyans to follow the law in regard to environmental protection which involves among others avoiding the use of plastic materials in packaging their food.
He said that according to the law, it is an offense to use plastics in packaging food and those found guilty in using or supplying the banned plastics risked being fined Sh4 million or 2 years imprisonment.
Speaking at the same function, Kericho NEMA officer Mr. Moses Morindat issued a stern warning against the illegal suppliers and users of single use plastic materials in Kericho that their days were numbered and those who will be found will be arrested and prosecuted.
Other speakers at the function who included the Director of Litein Mission Hospital, Dr. Elijah Terer appealed to Kenyans to develop a positive attitude towards plastic waste management by collecting all plastics within their compounds.
Dr. Terer said in a move to conserving and protecting the environment, Litein hospital had acquired a modern exhauster to aid in emptying of full septic tanks and latrines in the community to avoid contamination of water sources especially during rainy seasons.
By Dominic Cheres and Kevin Rotich