Kenya Association of Manufacturers today convened a stakeholder meeting on the plastic bag ban.
Present at the meeting were NEMA representatives led by Director General Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu, and a cross-section of diverse businesses affected by the ban including manufacturers of plastic packaging material, pharmaceuticals, agro- chemicals, maize flour, salt as well as representatives from furniture, fish, motor vehicle and horticulture.
Speaking at the forum, KAM CEO, Ms Phyllis Wakiaga said that manufacturers have always been ready to partner with NEMA and the Government to find solutions for our environmental challenges.
“Manufacturers want clarity, certainty and predictability because the constant addition of exemptions and introduction of new directives since the gazettement have thrown the industry into disarray. Our members are currently faced with the dilemma on whether to continue with production or stop, and what to do with the current stock, as we await clarification from NEMA,” Ms Wakiaga said.
The forum hosted over 500 stakeholders and provided a platform for them to engage directly with NEMA officials on the complexities that have dogged the compliance process.
KAM Director and Head of the Legal Committee, Mr. Mucai Kunyiha added that it is important that new terminologies that are being introduced as part of exemptions or new directives, are understood uniformly by all stakeholders.
“The issue of waste is a complicated matter that needs the collaboration of all stakeholders. If a body like NEMA does not have the capacity to manage waste nationally, it is impossible for us as the business community to do it solely, as expressed in the extended producer responsibility directive issued by NEMA, just last week,” Mr Kunyiha said.
Commenting at the forum, NEMA DG recognized that part of the present confusion has been caused by a breakdown in communication, between NEMA, manufacturers and other stakeholders. He asked manufacturers to be patient with the process in order to achieve a win- win for all.