Nairobi — Manufacturers have today launched a plan to sustainably manage plastic waste in the country.
Dubbed Kenya Plastic Action Plan, the private sector-led Policy and Action Plan seeks to enable a circular economy for the environmentally sustainable use and recycling of plastics in Kenya.
It identifies specific actions that the public and private sector should undertake to achieve a circular economy, including waste management at the county level, formation and regulation of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes and establishment of recycling value chains and standards.
Speaking during the launch, Environment Chief Administrative Secretary, Mohamed Elmi noted that the government is keen on driving Kenya into a zero-waste management policy.
"Our economic activities need not jeopardize the ecological balance. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry aspires to turn Kenya into a zero-waste society. The Kenya Plastic Action Plan is an important first step towards this. I commend KAM for being proactive and urge the private sector to continue working with the government to create a circular economy in the country," remarked CAS Elmi.
Also at the event, KAM Chair Sachen Gudka noted that local manufacturers are now beginning to apply circular economy in their operations as they seek to promote sustainable waste management.
"The role of the manufacturing sector in the circular economy rests in sustainable waste management and Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes. A huge opportunity remains in the development of a waste management and recycling industry in Kenya that would contribute to the Big 4 Agenda," said Gudka.
The KAM Chair added that the plan will set the pace for proper management of all waste in the country.
"The Action Plan identifies the specific actions that the public and private sector should undertake to achieve a circular economy. Circular economy aims to eradicate waste-not just from manufacturing processes, as lean management aspires to do, but systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components.
We visualize that the Plan will set the pace for the proper management of all other wastes in the country through proper disposal, segregation and recycling, hence promoting a circular economy," Gudka concluded.
National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Ag. Director-General, Mamo B. Mamo noted that a clean environment is everyone's responsibility and that public-private partnerships are key to achieving a circular economy.
"We shall continue to engage our partners and stakeholders as we seek to tackle plastic waste. This calls for innovation and shared vision, which the Kenya Plastic Action Plan seeks to achieve. We need to turn challenges into opportunities and set a global example for plastic waste management," said Mr Mamo.