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The plastic industry takes a lead in fight against plastic waste

In Kenya, the business organization Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has joined forces with plastic importers, plastics manufacturers, and plastic recyclers to develop a plan to create circular economy for the plastics industry

Today, only 6 precent of Kenya’s plastic waste is recycled. The business community’s action plan will create a refund system that ensures that at least 30% of the country’s plastic is collected and reused. 

The plastic plan has been developed with support from DI, Plastindustrien, and Danida.

Inspiration from the Danish bottle refund system

In 2019, KAM was on a study trip to Denmark to develop the plan. A visit at Dansk Retursystem, which controls the Danish bottle refund system, had an important impact. 

According to the action plan, all companies that send plastic to the Kenyan market must become paying members of a producer responsibility organization - a local counterpart to Dansk Retursystem.

”We have borrowed heavily from the experience from Denmark,” explains Phyllis Wakiaga, the CEO of KAM.  

Circular economy creates job opportunities

By implementing fees, standardizing design, and helping Kenyans sort their waste, recycling will become an attractive option for individuals as well as companies. The plan will also make it easier to work as a private garbage collector. This will create new blue-collar job opportunities in Kenya. 

The action plan has received political support, and the legislative changes that are necessary to implement the plan are on the way.