KENYA – The Kenya Plastics Pact has published a roadmap to ensure all plastic packaging in the country is recyclable or reusable by 2030.

The national plastic roadmap 2030 seeks to eliminate single-use plastic packaging besides coming up with 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.

“This roadmap will stimulate industry-led innovation, dialogue and collaboration to reinvigorate plastic waste recycling, and generate new jobs besides improving our overall economic and environmental health,” said Macharia in a statement.

Commenting on the launch, Ms. Karin Boomsma, the Pact’s Secretariat Lead explained that the Roadmap reflects a powerful voice for tangible change by 2030 and will guide and mobilize the industry to tackle plastic pollution by taking collective action.

“The Roadmap activities are elaborate and based on Kenya’s context and the current situation in the country in terms of waste management, plastic pollution, the economy, the policy landscape, and available infrastructure,” she added.

Statistics from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry indicate that Kenya generates an estimated 22,000 metric tons of solid waste daily, of which, 20 percent is plastic.

In addition, daily plastic consumption is estimated at 0.03 kg per person while only 8 percent of plastic waste in the country is recycled, with the remainder finding its way into landfills or waterways.

Macharia added that Kenya has been generating 0.5 million to 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, thereby necessitating partnership between the government, industry and civil society to promote recycling and minimize pollution of vital ecosystems.

This is why plastic waste and pollution have particularly captured the attention of businesses, governments, and citizens in Kenya.

According to the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki, a radical transformation in how we use natural resources is central to meeting the needs of future generations.

“There is no question about it, the world needs a new economy; a circular economy, which keeps plastics in use and out of the environment,” says Kariuki.

“It is now more relevant than ever to bring the whole value chain together, and build collective solutions adapted to our reality.”

The Roadmap establishes four strategic targets for 2030 which includes eliminating unnecessary or problematic single-use plastic packaging items through redesign, innovation, and reuse delivery models and ensuring that 100% of plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable.

In addition, it goes a long way in supporting the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations, which aim to enhance resource use efficiency, stimulate innovation, spur recycling, and reduce the amount of waste destined for final disposal as provided for by the Sustainable Waste Management Act.

The development and implementation of the Kenya Plastics Pact are led by Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya (SIB-K), the Secretariat to the Pact and the Knowledge Center under the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA); with support from WRAP – the UK-based global environmental NGO, and initially funded by MAVA Foundation and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

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