NAIROBI, March 11 (Xinhua) — Kenya plans to put in place incentives to promote alternative packaging materials to plastic, an official said on Monday.
Geoffrey Wahungu, director general of the National Environmental Management Authority said on the sidelines of the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly that the ban on single use plastic in 2017 created a huge gap in the market.
“We are looking at a series of tax incentives to catalyze the private sector to develop alternative materials for packaging from materials such as cotton,” Wahungu.
He noted that since the plastic ban, Kenya has seen a drastic reduction in plastic menace in the country but there are still challenges.
He said that as a result of the ban, there have been increased incidences of smuggling of single use plastics from neighboring countries that still permit use of them.
He noted that the proposed fiscal incentives are supposed to ensure that local consumers have alternatives to plastics so as to enhance the success of the plastic ban.
The environmental watchdog added that since the ban, there has been limited local production of alternative packing materials and hence the need for government support.
Wahungu said there are also plans to regulate use of plastic bottles for packaging beverages through a framework of cooperation agreement between the government and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.
He said that under the agreement, producers of plastic bottles will be required to take back and recycle used bottles so that they don’t pollute the environment.