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State urges all manufacturers to embrace plastic bottles reuse

Milliam Murigi @millymur1

The Ministry of Environment has urged more manufacturers to commit to a scheme that promotes collection and recycling of plastic bottles.

Speaking at the first National PET Forum and Exhibition, Environment Chief Administrative Secretary Mohammed Elmi described the initiative by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) as a useful and timely venture that needs the support of everyone who manufactures or uses plastics.

“We want all the players to be part of a take-back scheme. All companies should join or establish a new scheme. Managing PET plastic bottles is a priority. Make sure you belong to a take-back scheme,” he said.

Elmi said the ministry would back the trash-to-cash efforts, adding that such efforts have gained traction around the world.

“Young people are taking advantage of alternative uses of plastics such as making clothes, and are collecting and selling them for recycling. Such jobs are creating opportunities aimed at improving the livelihoods of Kenyans,” he said.

The forum was held to show progress made since the enactment of a Framework of Cooperation (FOC) signed between the KAM and the government. The purpose of the framework is the implementation of take-back schemes and extended producer responsibility schemes for the PET plastic bottles.

KAM chairman Sachen Gudka said efforts to strengthen the PET sub-sector have been useful, with members adopting and integrating end-to-end waste management solutions in their day-to-day business activities.

“This forum marks the start of a countrywide call to action campaign which is geared to sensitise all Kenyans on the need to address the challenge of waste management. As KAM, we believe recycling has the potential to bring benefits for both the environment and the economy,” he said.

National Environment and Management Authority (Nema) Environment Education director Mamo Boru reiterated the need for partnerships that rally more members to adopt the PET waste schemes.

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