KENYA – E-commerce startup Jumia Kenya has announced that consumers will now receive their online orders in their original packaging from the manufacturer without any extra wrapping from Jumia.

This follows the company’s recent announcement, which aligns with its ESG strategy aimed at environmentally friendly activities in the countries it operates in.

Items like clothes and apparel, shoes, TVs, printers, water dispensers, and photocopiers will be delivered in the manufacturer’s original packaging with an Airway bill stuck on top instead of additional Jumia-branded packaging.

The startup added that sensitive and personal items will still be packaged to conceal the item and maintain privacy.

Daisy Langa’t, Jumia Fulfillment Manager said: “In line with our sustainability agenda, we will continue cutting down on waste created from the packaging material used to pack our customer orders.

“Our updated packaging guidelines will include zero use of carton boxes and cut down on unnecessary Jumia wraps.

“Majority of the items ordered will be delivered with their original manufacturer packaging with just an Airway bill stuck on it.”

To reduce waste and environmental pollution, Jumia is prioritizing electronic records for data storage to eliminate the need for paper usage and disposal.

The move aligns with the national plastic roadmap 2030 which seeks to eliminate single-use plastic packaging and develop eco-friendly alternatives to promote environmental health and job creation through circularity.

Through this initiative Kenya becomes the second country in Africa after South Africa to come up with an ambitious roadmap for managing plastic waste, notes Ayub Macharia, the Director of Environmental Education and Awareness in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Meanwhile, banned plastic carrier bags are steadily making a comeback to the Kenyan markets, reports the Star.

According to the Star, those trading in vegetables, tomatoes, onions and sugarcane are still using plastics that were banned six years ago.

Those using them have, however, heightened their attention claiming that the state did not provide them with an alternative. They say authorities banned plastic carrier bags and they were not given alternatives.

“You cannot package some of the groceries in woven bags that were provided,” one of the traders who requested anonymity for fear of being arrested said.

In 2017, the Ministry of Environment banned the use of plastic carrier bags through a gazette notice of February 27.

But despite the ban, plastics are still in the market. The National Environment Management Authority is aware of the return of plastic bags.

The agency has been carrying out a crackdown on those found with the banned items.

Nema director-general Mamo Mamo said that more than 100 traders and three wholesalers/stockists of banned plastic carrier bags have so far been arrested and arraigned.

“The porous border posts and municipal markets are the hot spots majorly from across our borders,” Mamo, who a few months ago told the Star that the success rate of the implementation of the ban was at 95 percent, said.

He said a joint government multi-agency team, which comprises Nema, National Police Service, Kenya Revenue Authority, customs, anti-counterfeits and other regulatory agencies and partnership with county governments for the marketplaces have been working round the clock to make sure that the ban is enforced.

Mamo, however, said there are inadequacies as the authority has few environmental inspectors and resources to undertake robust surveillance and inspections country-wide and border posts.

Nema suspects that the banned plastics are coming from other countries such as Tanzania, Somalia and Uganda.

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