The year is 2016, outside a busy supermarket in one of Nairobi’s estates. Shoppers flow in and out carrying their groceries and other shopping items with plastic carrier bags. These are the order of the day, but their pollution to the environment is devastating. A year later in 2017, the Kenyan government would enact the ban on production, sale and use of plastics carrier bags. The ban is considered one of the sternest in the world and whose success rate is now recorded at approximately 80%.
Fast forward to 2021, we have made tremendous strides in the fight against plastic pollution as a nation, 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 in the country, such as the Kenya Plastic Action Plan and the development of the Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organization (KEPRO). The PRO, 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 referred to as an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Read more
Josephine Wawira is the Communications Officer at Sustainable Inclusive Business.