Kenya launches plastic pact to spur growth of circular economy

Say no to plastic bags poster. Disposable cellophane and polythene package prohibition sign. Pollution problem concept. Vector illustration

Kenya on Thursday became the second country in Africa after South Africa and the 12th globally to launch a plastic pact whose overarching goal is to stimulate the growth of the circular economy through recycling of non-biodegradable waste.

Keriako Tobiko, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said the launch of the public-private initiative to revitalize plastic waste recycling and reuse will address urban pollution besides creating new jobs.

It is estimated that the launch will boost sustainable management of plastic waste that comprises about 30 percent of 22,000 metric tons of solid waste the country generates daily.

“The launch of Kenya’s plastic pact, which will be part of a global network to share expertise on plastic waste management, marks a critical milestone in our transition from a linear to a circular economy,” said Tobiko.

The pact roots for harnessing technologies, innovations and youth-led entrepreneurship to promote recycling and reuse of single-use plastics.

Karin Boomsma, project director of Sustainable Inclusive Business said that implementation of Kenya’s plastic pact through investments in supportive infrastructure and training will accelerate the growth of the circular economy.

Some of the targets outlined in the country’s inaugural plastic pact include ensuring that 40 percent of plastic waste is recycled, up from 8 percent.

Boomsma said that Kenya will borrow international best practices besides leveraging policy and regulatory reforms, public awareness and capacity building to revitalize the circular economy and resource use efficiency.