The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officers have arrested two people who they found manufacturing plastic bags at a plant in Thetha area in Kimbo, Juja Sub County.
Several tonnes of plastic bags and granules used for manufacturing the banned products were also recovered during the raid on Thursday.
The Kiambu County Deputy NEMA Director, Daniel Nyamora said they raided the over Sh.6million plant after being tipped that a residential house in the area was involved in the manufacturing of plastic bags.
“With the help of the police, we raided the house only to find that it was a multi-billion establishment. It has about six state-of-the-art equipment valued at close to Sh.6million. We wonder how such a mega facility found itself here,” he said.
The facility has an optimum capacity of 1million bags a day and is located about six kilometers from Kimbo area along the Thika Super Highway.
According to Nyamora, the premise was initially manufacturing pegs, but was surprised to realize that it had ventured into plastic bags.
The bags find their market within towns in Kiambu County and the neighbouring Murang’a counties and in Nairobi mostly among vegetable vendors and miraa traders.
“The report we have is that it was initially operating in Juja town, before they relocated to this place where no one can trace them,” he said.
The bags and granules were transported to their Nairobi headquarters where they will be destroyed. Those arrested have been detained at Juja Police Station while the owner of the plant is still at large.
According to the officer, the crackdown on plastic bags in the county has not been easy as they have become targets of goons.
He said the plastic bags are mostly transported at night, making it difficult to effectively impose the ban.
“When they spot our vehicle during raids, they mobilize youths who surround us and retaliate with stones and other weapons. We are forced to run for our dear lives,” he said.
Under the Environment Manufacturers and Co-ordination Act, those found culpable of flouting the ban on plastic bags face a jail term not shorter than one year or a fine not less than Sh.2million.
By Muoki Charles