Friday, July 19, 2024

KAM Extends The War on Plastics to The Producer


Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), has today launched the Strategic Business Plan for the establishment of a Plastic Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO).

The PRO will drive collective Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the country, whereby a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle, whilst turning plastic waste into valuable resources. 

The Strategic Plan, developed by KAM in partnership with Sustainable Inclusive Business under the KEPSA Foundation and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, sets out the direction of KAM’s priorities in the waste value chain and key action in effecting the steps towards a clean Kenya as industry moves from a linear to a circular economy. 

KAM Chair, Mr Mucai Kunyiha observed that the local manufacturing sector is committed to and is at the forefront of driving the establishment of a circular economy, towards sustainably managing waste, and conserving and restoring our environment. 

“The Plan’s focus areas to accelerate a circular economy are to increase collection and recycling simultaneously through creating value and markets for the recycled plastics, enhance industry awareness on sustainable sourcing and production and develop products designed for recyclability. We are optimistic that Kenya will achieve its targets of being “a Green Hub” within the region by cementing Kenya’s leadership in matters Climate Change and the Green Economy,” explained Mr Kunyiha. 

Speaking during the launch, Netherlands Ambassador to Kenya, Amb. Maarten Brouwer said, “We need to value the role of the private sector towards accelerating circular economy in Kenya. To support these efforts, governments can give financial incentives, invest in research and development and encourage innovation. This shall encourage industries to be willing to learn, explore an experiment with various solutions that can be used to manage waste in the environment.

He added that sustainability is everybody’s role to play and needs a holistic approach.

“By making the collaborative spirit between government and private sector feasible, we shall secure the future of industry.  The waste management challenges we face can be converted into new business opportunities by rethinking materials and redesigning products. This shall reduce operational and energy costs for the manufacturing sector, through sustainable production and consumption.” 

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry Director of Environmental Education and Awareness, Dr Ayub Macharia reiterated government’s support towards environmental conservation, sustainability, and circular economy, saying, “We championed the development of the framework of cooperation (FOC) between industry and government to monitor the progress of management of PET Consumer Waste. We also supported the launch of the Kenya Plastic Action Plan last year.” 

He added that the formation of a PRO was informed by the amount of waste in the environment, hence the need to manage it by working with the private sector. 

“The lack of an EPR scheme in the country led to low waste collection. This is attributed to inadequate infrastructure in the waste management value chain. The strategic business plan shall guide us in managing post-consumer plastic waste in the country, hence conserving our environment for future generations.” 

The launch of the Strategic Business Plan for a Plastic Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) is in line with commitments made in the Kenya Plastic Action Plan, launched last year. The Plan seeks to enable a circular economy for the environmentally sustainable use and recycling of plastics in Kenya. 

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