The year is 2016, outside a busy supermarket in Nairobi. Shoppers flow in and out carrying their groceries and other goods with plastic carrier bags. That was the order of the day then and plastic pollution had a devastating effect on the environment. A year later in 2017, the government banned production, sale and use of plastics carrier bags. The ban, considered to be one of the sternest in the world, now has a success rate of approximately 80 per cent.
Fast forward to 2021. We have made tremendous strides in the fight against plastic pollution with a ban on specific single-use plastics in all protected areas taking effect from June 2020. There are also ongoing and ambitious plastics initiatives such as the Kenya Plastic Action Plan and the development of the Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organisation (Kepro). Kepro, once established, will ensure plastics are collected, sorted and recycled after use, giving producers a significant responsibility for the post-consumer phase of single-use goods under a scheme known as an Extended Producer Responsibility. Read more
Josephine Wawira is the Communications Officer at Sustainable Inclusive Business.