NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Friday launched a campaign towards
eradicating plastic wrapping materials from the environment.
Judi Wakhungu, the
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, said that the clean-up
exercise against Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is in line
with the government’s commitment to manage solid waste in the
products are a common environmental menace and needs to be
removed from the environment,” Wakhungu said at the launch that
was attended by officials from the Kenya Association of
She noted that after
banning the polythene bags five months ago, the government is
also beginning to address pollution caused by PET bottles.
“Kenya is committed
to honor global efforts towards the prevention, mitigation and
management of air, water, soil and oceans pollution,” she noted.
PET polyester is
used for packaging foods and beverages, personal care products
and other consumer products.
They are highly
favored due to its desirable properties and its use has
increased significantly in the last few years. In Kenya PET is
primarily used to package soft drinks, milk and drinking water.
Just like other
plastics materials, PET has been associated with pollution of
the environment due to its non-bio degradable nature especially
when littered indiscriminately on land and in water bodies.
Wakhungu said that
the ban on the use of disposable bottles in Karura forest in the
outskirts of Nairobi and the National Reserves and Game Parks
has been successful in helping conserving and protecting animals
and nature within the ecosystem.
“We are proud of
this achievement and we will continue consulting regional and
international stakeholders in environment pollution management,”
government statistics, there are a total of 176 plastics
manufacturing companies in Kenya in 2016. The plastics industry
in Kenya generated a turnover of 10 million U.S. dollars and
employed over 60,000 people.
Flora Mutahi, KAM
chairperson observed that the industry embraces the circular
economy concept and is looking out for various ways to
supporting the creation of an effective after-use plastics
“We recognize the
need to create new circular systems that conserve resources,
reduce pollution and promote efficiency since packaging is
integral to the delivery of safe, high-quality consumer
products,” she noted.
Mutahi called on
Kenyans to embrace proper disposal habits, particularly of PET
bottles which are mainly littered along the roads, in water
bodies and public areas.
The government and
KAM plans to intensify clean-up operations as one of the
initiatives in mitigating the challenge in waste management in
This approach has
been adopted following a successful PETCO South Africa model
which runs an industry driven and financed environmental
solution for post-consumer PET plastic.
The model provides a
solution for post-consumer plastic packaging which is critical
in minimizing its impact on the environment.
The move comes
immediately after the end of third United Nations Environmental
Assembly meeting in Nairobi last week that resolved to
sustainably use natural resources alongside developing a
pollution free planet.