Kenya mulls law to promote recycling of plastics bottles

NAIROBI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Kenya is developing a legal framework to promote recycling of PET bottles, a senior government official said on Friday.

Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forestry, told an environmental forum in Nairobi that the government is in the process of finalizing the Waste Management Bill and Policy.

“The bill will encourage more manufacturers to commit to a scheme that promotes the collection and recycling of plastic bottles,” Tobiko said during the first national PET forum and exhibition.

During the event, a high level policy dialogue on the challenges and potential within the management of PET in Kenya took place.

The day-long exhibition focused on deepening the understanding of the PET value chain in the country from a holistic perspective.

The proposed law will require the government to put in place measures to reduce the amount of waste generated and, where waste is generated, to ensure that waste is re-used, recycled and recovered in an environmentally-sound manner.

In May, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) signed a framework of cooperation on a take back scheme for PET bottles.

Geoffrey Wahungu, director general of NEMA said that Kenya is witnessing an increase in littering of PET bottles in the environment.

The director general said that if the PET bottles are not well managed, they are likely to pose negative impacts on the environment because of their inability to decompose thus affecting soil and environment quality.

“The PET plastics also cause pollution of coastal and marine environment and the resultant cost on tourism marine food and health,” he added.

NEMA said that the plastics have also caused blockage of sewerage and water drainage infrastructure causing floods during the rainy season.

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