Kenya's plastic bag ban set industry thinking

The Kenyan ban on plastic bags comes into effect the end of August and some packaging suppliers like Dilpack Kenya were worried that it would hit several flower growers as it would increase their packaging costs. Fortunately, after checking with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the ban does not apply for plastic packaging used for primary industrial packaging. However, this ban gave this packaging supplier food for thought. "As an organization the care for the environment and sustainability is a core value", says Zack Gichane, General Manager at packaging supplier Dilpack Kenya. "We endeavor to offer environmentally friendly solutions, the majority of our growers are supplying the European market and environmentally friendly products are increasing in popularity over there. Therefore, we are making our growers aware of the more environmentally friendly alternatives in our assortment."

The team of Dilpack Kenya at the IFTEX 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The plastic bag ban will come into effect the end of August. Fortunately, after checking with the NEMA, it became clear that Dilpack Kenya and growers have nothing to worry about. "NEMA informed us that the ban on plastic bags does not affect plastic packaging used for primary industrial packaging that is in direct contact with the product, in line with approved packaging standards."

However, even though Dilpack Kenya and its growers will not be affected, the plastic bag ban set them thinking. Currently, Gichane and his colleagues are making their growers aware of alternative sleeves - and in particular the environmental friendly ones.

"Europe is the main market of many growers and in this continent, environmentally friendly products are popular and are still increasing in popularity. We will make our growers aware of the other more environmentally options." Dilpack, for example, offers biodegradable sleeves, Combi sleeves -a combination of nonwoven and BOPP sleeves- and kraft paper. "These, however, come with a slightly higher premium due to the slightly higher input costs. The premiums range from between 25%-45% depending on product. However, in contrast to ordinary BOPP sleeves, the grower can add that extra value to the product and can therefore receive higher prices for its product. We are currently promoting this packaging option at the growers and biodegradable options are proving to be a hit."

For more information
Dilpack Kenya Ltd.
Zack Gichane

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