A new collaborative initiative to tackle plastics waste and pollution was launched in Kenya last week Thursday. The Kenya Plastics Pact (KPP) will bring together stakeholders across the plastics value chain to create a circular economy for plastics. The Pact brings together businesses, governments, researchers, NGOs, civil society, informal waste sector players, and other stakeholders across the whole plastics value chain, to set time-bound commitments to transform the current linear plastics system into a circular plastics economy.
During the launch, the Project Director of Sustainable Inclusive Business – Kenya, Ms. Karin Boomsma observed that four years after the ban on plastic carrier bags, the country is still largely operating in a linear economy. She went on to say that the ‘take, make, and dispose of’ was an extractive model that is not sustainable for businesses, people, or the environment. She noted that the linear model depletes finite resources, pollutes environment and contributes to global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. “We must shift our focus to a circular economy, with innovations and business models that design out waste, keep materials in use, and protect and restore our environment,” She said.
All KPP stakeholders sign up to a joint set of ambitious and time-bound targets, ensuring that this collaboration will drive significant change by 2030. Progress will be monitored and publicly reported every year, and collective efforts and targets will speed up the transition. By 2030, all members commit to:
- Eliminate unnecessary or problematic single-use plastic packaging items through redesign, innovation, and reuse delivery models;
- 100% of plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable;
- 40% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled; and
- 15% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.
Speaking on behalf of the KEPSA CEO, KEPSA Environment Sector Board Chair Ms. Emily Waita noted that the KPP targets will drive the much-needed change for the planet and the health of the Kenyan people. “They will also stimulate job creation in the plastics collection and recycling sector, and help to create new opportunities in product redesign, the alternative business solution, and re-use business models,” She added.
At the time of the launch, KPP membership 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, KEPSA, Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organization (KEPRO), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK), WWF Kenya, WEEE Center, Together For Better Foundation, Tierranjani Africa, the Kenya PET Recycling Company (PETCO), the Nairobi Waste Pickers Association and the Ajira Digital and Employment Program.
While officiating the launch on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko, the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry noted that the launch of the Kenya Plastics Pact had come at a much-desired time when the system calls for all relevant stakeholders in the whole value chain to come together to close the loop; by promoting and embracing the elimination, innovation, and circular principles. “Through such initiatives 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 concluded.
With this launch, Kenya becomes the second in Africa after South Africa, and the 12th globally to join the Ellen MacArthur global Plastics Pact Network. The development of the KPP is supported by WRAP – the UK-based global environmental NGO and MAVA Foundation.