The Environment ministry has encouraged more manufacturers to commit to a scheme that promotes the collection and recycling of plastic bottles.
Speaking at the first national PET forum and exhibition, Environment Chief Administrative Secretary Mohammed Elmi described the initiative by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers as a useful and timely venture that needs the support of everyone who manufactures or uses plastics.
“We want all the players to be part of a take-back scheme. All companies should join or establish a new scheme. Managing PET is a priority. Make sure you belong to a take-back scheme,” said Mr Elmi.
The CAS said the ministry would back the trash-to-cash efforts noting that such efforts have gained traction around the world.
“Young people are taking advantage of alternative use of plastics such as making clothes, and equally collecting them and sell them for recycling. Such jobs are creating opportunities aimed at improving the livelihoods of Kenyans,” said Mr Elmi.
The forum was held to show progress made since the enactment of a Framework of Cooperation (FOC) signed between the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the government. The purpose of the framework is the implementation of take-schemes and extended producer responsibility schemes for the PET plastic bottles.
Speaking on behalf of KAM, Chairman Mr. Sachen Gudka noted that efforts to strengthen the PET sub-sector have been useful, with members adopting and integrating end-to-end waste management solutions in their day to day business activities.
“This forum marks the start of a countrywide call to action campaign which is geared to sensitize all Kenyans, businesses and citizens alike on the need to address the challenge of waste management. As KAM, we believe that recycling and up cycling has the potential to bring benefits for both the environment and the economy,” he said.
On his part, National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) Director Environment Education Mr. Mamo Boru insisted on the need for partnerships that rally more members to adopt the PET waste schemes. NEMA will facilitate inter-governmental relations amongst county governments and government agencies to support the objectives of the Framework of Cooperation.
KAM will equally engage with different stakeholders that play critical roles within their various capacities towards the establishment of impactful partnerships in order to harness the force behind concerted efforts.
Among these stakeholders include the Council of Governors (COG), National Transport and Safety Authority, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Dandora Hip-hop City and PETCO Kenya to strengthen proper waste management as well as connecting players in the value chain.