Polythene bags manufacturer, Hi-Plast Limited, has given the government a 30-day suit notice challenging the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ ban on plastic bags.

Hi-Plast wants the government to compensate it for loss of business, general damages and exemplary damages and prays for “declaratory orders on the powers of a minister in respect of such far-reaching policy decisions on investments without proper public participation and consultation of parliament.” Watch the video below:

Legitimate expectations

Through their lawyer, Eddy Orinda of  One&Associates Advocates, the manufacturer argues that the Ministry made the declaration without proper consultations resulting in loss of business and rendering their investments to waste.

“This unlawful declaration has led to loss of business, default in loans, numerous layoffs and prospective suits from employees and suppliers due to the short notice given and redundancy of work due to unavailability of work,” the notice reads.

The manufacturer says the ban has led to an estimated loss of Ksh2 billion due to the ban.

“Further, the actions of the minister amount to a threat on the legitimate expectations of investors within the Kenyan economy,” the notice further reads.

Hi-Plast Ltd says the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources effected the ban on February 25 2017, ahead of the gazette notice which was issued on March 14 2017.

Adequate Timelines

The firm further says that the Cabinet Secretary unilaterally announced the ban on the manufacture of plastic bags without proper consultation, complete disregard of parliamentary recommendations, agreements with manufacturers and without giving adequate timelines to the manufacturers to enable them fully comply or initiate alternative means of redirecting the investments.

“It is on this premise that the intended applicants intend to institute proceedings against the Attorney General for business loss as the business has been closed due to inadequate and unreasonable notice period, despite having invested heavily on the same,” Orinda said.