Center calls on private sector to embrace circular economy

The Sustainable Inclusive Business (SIB) Kenya is calling on government and businesses to embrace circular economy noting that Kenya’s economy cannot thrive in the long run without a deliberate shift to a system that restores and regenerates natural resources.

A circular economy is an economic system that eliminates waste by promoting better designs, reuse, take-back schemes  and recycling.

“Circular economy won’t just happen; it will wait till everyone takes individual and corporate responsibility and it requires intention and design,” said Ms. Karin Boomsma, the Centre’s Project Director.

Citing a recently launched report, Boomsma said that Kenya now has the legal and policy framework to support a smooth transition from the current linear economy, thanks to collaboration with the government through the ministries of Environment and Forestry, Trade and Industrialization as well as various multilateral agencies.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry, for instance, released the final Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations in response to the growing plastic crisis nationally but more so in the cities.

An addendum to the Environment Management and Coordination Act (1999), the regulations provide for extended producer responsibility for all products and packaging in all phases of their life cycle to enhance environmental sustainability. To put it simply, a beverage company, for instance, shall be responsible for its packaging materials (the bottles and bottle tops) from the point they leave the depots till they are safely disposed back to recycling centres.

The report ‘Kenya is in Transition to a Circular Economy’, notes that the existence of a supportive framework could inspire the development of new businesses focused on redesigning, recycling and waste management. It will also spur increased sustainable economic development and resilience.

Kenya’s economic growth averaged 5.7% between 2015 and 2019, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  

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