State withdraws threat to ban plastic bottles, opts for recycling laws

Thursday, December 5th, 2019 00:00 |
Acting Nema director general Mamo B Mamo.

The government has backtracked on the threat to ban PET plastic bottles and instead  promised  to enact laws and regulations to strengthen recycling and circular economy sector.

 The National Environment Management Authority (Nema), yesterday assured plastics manufacturers that the government is not in the business of banning their products but to develop sound policies for sustainable use. 

“As an authority, we are alive to the fact that public private partnership and voluntary agreements are good alternatives to banning products in the country,” acting Nema director general Mamo B Mamo said.

 This came is even after Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) revealed that the country was importing 600,000 metric tonnes but only recycles 43,000 metric tonnes.

 In February this year, Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko warned the government would ban plastic bottles due to lethargy and cavalier attitude by the industries dealing with plastic bottles.

Launch plan

Tobiko had accused manufacturers and industries under KAM of flouting a framework of corporation on take-back-scheme with the government.

 “We gave KAM timelines to operationalise the scheme but unfortunately, the government is not satisfied over the lethargy and cavalier attitude by industries,” he said. 

But in a statement read on his behalf by Environment CAS Mohamed Elmi, Tobiko commended KAM for the launch of an action plan, in which they promised to increase recycling of plastic waste by 60 per cent by 2030. 

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