The Kenya PET Recycling Company (PETCO) alongside brand owners, retailers, bottlers and converters through the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has re-affirmed its commitment to reduce plastic waste in the country by 70% by 2025 an agreement it went into in June.
In a statement to newsrooms on Tuesday, PETCO Country Program Manager Joyce Waweru called for concerted efforts by all industry players to manage plastic waste responsibly in line with the government’s plan to unlock an appropriate holistic waste management plan.
“All efforts to create a litter-free nation cannot be undertaken in isolation. Manufacturers, retailers are investing in improving PET bottle management in Kenya,”
“Raising awareness of the products made from recycled plastics would help stimulate demand and appetite for the adoption of redesign and manufacture products made from recycled PET and to encourage the development of local manufacturing,” added Ms Waweru.
The program manager avers that there lies a great opportunity for industry players to showcase what corporate responsibility means by making commitments and following them up with action.
According to Ms Waweru, the government’s ban on production, importation and use of plastic bags together with the growing public awareness of plastics has provided a strong argument for brand owners and plastic bottle industry players to scale up collection and recycling in Kenya.
“The government’s restriction on the use of plastic bags has challenged brand owners and PET sector industry players on the need to come up with tangible collection and recycling projects that would mitigate the environmental harm caused by poor plastic disposal practices in Kenya,” added Ms Waweru.
As part of the agreement signed in June, retailers and brand owners agreed to sensitize consumers to recycle materials at the ‘end-of-life’ phase.
PETCO and KAM had proposed the introduction of features in the current PET bottles to increase recyclability.
For instance, both parties pushed for introduction of clear bottles as opposed to the ones with a blue tint, use of non-PVC polymer labels as well as the use of soluble adhesives for sticky labels.