The Kenya Plastics Pact (KPP), a new collaborative initiative to tackle plastics waste and pollution has been launched in the country.
Second in Africa and twelfth in the world, the Pact brings together businesses, governments, researchers, NGOs, civil society, informal waste sector players and other stakeholders across the plastics value chain, to set time-bound commitments to transform the current linear plastics system, into a circular plastics economy.
Speaking during the launch on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary (CS), Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Mohammed Elmi, noted that, tackling plastic waste calls for concerted effort by all relevant stakeholders in the value chain to embrace the elimination, innovation and circular principles.
“Through initiatives such as this, I envision that we shall create a local economy that thrives on our own available resources by ensuring that plastic waste is not waste, but a resource that is kept in the economy and out of the environment,” he noted
The CS stated that Kenya, like many other countries, grapples with the plastic waste and pollution menace and the devastating effects of Covid-19 have also aggravated plastic pollution in form of face masks and other personal protective gears.
“Now more than ever, we’re reminded of the urgent need to implement solution-based initiatives, aimed at advancing and transitioning to a more sustainable climate neutral, resource efficient and circular economy at global and national levels,” Tobiko stated.
In line with green economic growth, Tobiko noted that by delivering on the four targets set for 2030, the Kenya Plastics Pact, will help unlock investment in the innovation, collection, reuse, and recycling of waste, in an environmentally sound manner, while also delivering jobs, skills, and opportunities for Kenyans, especially the youth.
He added that the Ministry also seeks to integrate the informal waste sector, responsible for collecting and sorting the majority of material that gets recycled in the Country.
Director, Sustainable Inclusive Business, Karin Boomsma observed that four years after the ban on plastic carrier bags, the Country is still largely operating in a linear economy.
“We take, make, and dispose of in an extractive model that is not sustainable for businesses, people, or the environment. It depletes finite resources, pollutes our environment, and contributes to global challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss,” she noted.
Karin Boomsma urged responsible players to shift their focus to a circular economy, with innovations and business models, that design waste, keep materials in use, protect and restore the environment.
At the time of the launch, the Kenya Plastics Pact membership had already covered the entire plastics value chain, with leading organizations from across the country.
The founding members are L’Oréal East Africa, BIDCO Group, Coca-Cola, BioFoods, Silafrica, Vintz Plastics, Rintz Industries, Recykla International, Green Pavers, Takataka Solutions, Base Titanium, Ecocycle Enterprises, Florensis, EmpowerEco, Ecoworld Recycling and Trash-Thread-Textiles (T3)
The Pact is officially supported by the Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Environment, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organization, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, the Retail Trade Association of Kenya, WWF Kenya, WEEE Center, Together For Better Foundation, Tierranjani Africa, the Kenya PET Recycling Company, the Nairobi Waste Pickers Association and the Ajira Digital and Employment Program.