Kenyan campaigners urge firms to support plastic ban to cut pollution

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Kenya’s young environmental campaigners on Wednesday urged big corporations to support a total ban on plastics in order to reduce pollution of vital ecosystems like water sources.

The young campaigners said in a statement issued ahead of World Earth Day to be observed on Sunday noted that big business has an obligation to rally behind use of eco-friendly packaging materials.

Phyllis Wanjiku, a university student, led the call for private sector support for enactment of a plastic ban in a bid to cushion critical ecosystems from the stranglehold of harmful pollutants.

“Our oceans are choking on throwaway plastic. The equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic bottles, cups, straws and single use plastic bags enter our oceans every minute,” said Wanjiku.

“This Earth Day, it is time to confront the reality and address the corporate addiction to single-use plastics,” she added.

Kenya’s ministry of environment in August last year enforced a sweeping ban on manufacture and use of plastic bags in order to reduce a pollution crisis affecting ecosystems and livelihoods.

The East African nation earned global accolades for the bold decision to halt production and use of plastic packaging materials in the retail sector.

Campaigners regretted that plastic pollution had worsened disruption of marine life and was to blame for clogging of urban sewerage systems.

“Not only are plastics filling our oceans and killing marine life, they are also polluting our environment, food sources and blocking our drainage systems causing unnecessary flooding in Kenya,” said Wanjiku.

Kenya will observe this year’s World Earth Day against a backdrop of huge support for cleaner production and consumption patterns as a means to hasten green growth.

Campaigners said the theme of 2018 World Earth Day, “Ending Plastic Pollution”, dovetails with the country’s quest to become a regional hub in the production and use of environmentally friendly packaging materials.

 

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