Manufacturers Association Launch Kenya Plastics Action Plan to Create a Circular Economy

The Kenya Plastics Action Plan is an industry vision to achieve economic sustainability.

Kenyan manufacturers are aiming for a Circular Economy with the adoption and implementation of the Kenya Plastics Action Plan to realize proper waste management and zero waste in the manufacturing sector.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Plastics Action Plan launched on Wednesday provides an opportunity for the private sector to establish collective solutions on plastic pollution.

It focuses on four main areas for action: design, cashflow, communication and waste management.

This will involve public education on the benefits and methods of properly disposing of plastic waste, encouraging traders collecting and sorting recyclable trash, developing more effective ways of measuring recycling efforts, and finding and developing new markets for recycled products.

The Kenya Plastics Action Plan
The proposed value chain that will help promote a circular economy

According to KAM, the Action Plan provides an enabling circular economy for the environmentally sustainable use and recycling of plastics in Kenya. 

“A circular economy aims to eradicate waste, not just from manufacturing processes, as lean management aspires to do, but systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components,” said Phyllis Wakiaga, KAM chief executive during the launch. 

“Efforts to establish sustainable waste management mechanisms have been challenged by, among others, lack of adequate consumer awareness, poor policy frameworks and lack of structured Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes,” added Wakiaga.

Speaking during the launch, Environment Chief Administrative Secretary, Mohamed Elmi noted that the government is keen on driving Kenya into a zero-waste management policy.

“Our economic activities need not jeopardize the ecological balance. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry aspires to turn Kenya into a zero-waste society. The Kenya Plastic Action Plan is an important first step towards this. I commend KAM for being proactive and urge the private sector to continue working with the government to create a circular economy in the country,” remarked CAS Elmi.

KAM Chair Sachen Gudka noted that local manufacturers are now beginning to apply circular economy in their operations as they seek to promote sustainable waste management.

“The role of the manufacturing sector in the circular economy rests in sustainable waste management and Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes. A huge opportunity remains in the development of waste management and recycling industry in Kenya that would contribute to the Big 4 Agenda,” said Gudka.

The KAM Chair added that the plan will set the pace for proper management of all waste in the country.

“The Action Plan identifies the specific actions that the public and private sector should undertake to achieve a circular economy. Circular economy aims to eradicate waste-not just from manufacturing processes, as lean management aspires to do, but systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components.

If properly executed, the Action Plan will result in formidable legislation that mandates manufacturers and importers of plastics to register to an EPR Scheme, licensing of waste collectors and recyclers to build business legitimacy, tax incentives for increased recycling and awareness on segregation of plastics.