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Government challenged to review plastic bags ban

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The government has been challenged to put in place a robust policy and programme for recycling instead of resorting to outright ban of plastic carrier bags and plastic bottles.

Referring to the August 2017 ban on plastic carrier bags and the current debate on the future of plastic bottles, Bidco chairman, Vimal Shah, expressed concern that the ban could have been handled better through proper engagement with key stakeholders including users, environmental campaigners, recyclers and manufacturers.

He was speaking during the 3rd Annual Private Sector Conference on Sustainable Inclusive Business, which is taking place at the United States International University (USIU). The conference focuses on new economy, transformation and future proof businesses and is organised by SIBKenya and KEPSA with the support of Dutch Embassy in Nairobi.

He said the ban on plastic carrier bags had led to the emergence of alternatives whose real impact on the environment could be far worse than imagined.

Shah observed that paper, the other alternative, could lead to destruction of forests as demand for paper carrier bags grows.

“By opting to recycle plastic carrier bags in place of outright ban, we not only support industrialisation and creation of jobs, we also create opportunities for people in the recycling business while making affordable alternatives available to users,” said Shah.

The government made a drastic decision to ban the manufacture, import and use of plastic carrier bags in Kenya last year following widespread concerns of damage to precious ecosystems and being a danger to human and animal health. But Shah, who is also a Board Member of the KEPSA Foundation, believes recycling is a more prudent alternative.

JP Balkenende, a former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, called for a new global agenda that supports business growth, protects the planet from destruction and includes people, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid.

He urged countries and businesses to champion and practice innovation, rule of law and build inclusive institutions that creates shared value for everyone.

“The role of companies has changed from merely doing business to creating a sustainable world where the environment is protected and businesses impact real people,” said Balkenende.

SIBKenya, the organisers of the conference is currently championing the development of a new economy where success is measured by the well being of people and communities as well as the quality of the environment. This, it says, requires a new business mindset in every sector of the economy. A new business mindset will in turn deliver a new economy and future proof businesses.

“It is all about good business DNA that grows the 3Ps (People, Planet, Profit),” said SIBKenya Coordinator, Karin Boomsma.


“Business is the biggest driving force behind any country’s economy. They are (often) flexible, agile and smart with a strong desire to be sustainable. This is the perfect combination to create big social and environmental impact,” she concludes.

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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