KEPSA and WRAP Strengthen Partnership to Tackle the Challenges of Plastic Pollution in Kenya

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), through Sustainable Inclusive Business (SIB-K), hosted WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) CEO Ms. Harriet Lamb this week. WRAP is a climate action NGO working worldwide on plastics, food loss and waste, textiles, and a circular economy to tackle the causes of the climate crisis and give the planet a sustainable future. It operates in 40+ countries, including Kenya, where it works directly with the Kenya Plastics Pact (KPP).

“WRAP has remained an instrumental strategic partner to KEPSA through our knowledge center, SIB-K, since 2020, and we’re excited to scale our collaboration to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution in Kenya actively. As the private sector, we understand the urgency of reducing the amount of unsustainable plastic packaging being produced in the market and are working collaboratively to increase the adoption of innovative solutions that create more sustainable alternatives,” said Ms. Carole Kariuki, KEPSA CEO, during a meeting held in Nairobi.

The strengthening of this partnership underscores both organizations’ commitment to sustainable development and environmental stewardship.
Ms. Lamb commented, “Plastic pollution is a global challenge that requires collective action and collaboration. We are excited to explore further areas of partnership with Sustainable Inclusive Business under KEPSA and support their efforts to combat waste pollution in Kenya. This can drive meaningful progress towards a more sustainable future and create lasting benefits for our environment, economy, and society.”

WRAP, along with partners the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, convenes the Plastics Pact Network, a globally aligned response to plastic waste and pollution based on the New Plastics Economy vision for a circular economy for plastic. The Plastics Pact Network is a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices with other countries and regions to accelerate the global transition to a circular economy for plastics, with the Kenya Plastics Pact (KPP) spearheading activities in Kenya. Other national plastic pacts include those in the UK, France, Chile, the Netherlands, Portugal, the US, South Africa, Poland, Canada, India, and Colombia. Regional pacts include the Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands (ANZPAC) Plastics Pact.

The Kenya Plastics Pact enables concerted action towards creating a circular economy for plastic packaging. All stakeholders sign up for a joint set of ambitious and time-bound targets, ensuring this collaboration will drive significant change by 2030. This vision will be made a reality by, among others, collectively implementing a clearly defined roadmap to 2030 and co-designing and implementing pioneering and collaborative projects across the country.

“Having been largely involved in developing the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulation, we are now focusing on working closely with producers, the government, and partners to support successful implementation. I encourage more companies to put their weight behind the Kenya Plastics Pact – as I believe the model is a constructive multi-stakeholder blueprint for mobilizing the private sector players to create circular systems in the plastics sector and beyond, including others like food and textiles,” added the KEPSA CEO.
By working together with its members and partners, the Kenya Plastics Pact is working to, among others implement and scale activities under the KPP Roadmap to 2030 to reduce waste generation across the plastics value chain, promote the adoption of sustainable packaging alternatives and encourage investing in circular product designs and recyclable materials and increase awareness among businesses, consumers, and policymakers about responsible production, consumption, and waste management practices.

Further, the KPP advocates for and support policy reforms and regulations that support a circular economy for plastic packaging and facilitate the transition to a zero-waste future and collaborates with private sector stakeholders, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to maximize impact and drive systemic change.

Proactively addressing the challenges of climate change and plastic waste pollution will help amplify the Kenyan voice and contribute meaningfully to global efforts like the Global Plastics Treaty. This means urgently accelerating sustainable production and consumption of plastics from re-designing packaging to sustainable waste management practices. These efforts will unlock barriers to fast-tracking a circular economy with improved economic, environmental, and societal outcomes, such as stimulating industry-led innovation, generating job opportunities, and creating behavioral change.

Under KEPSA, Sustainable Inclusive Business – Kenya fosters collaborations, spearheads multi-stakeholder initiatives, conducts research, pilots innovative projects, and promotes awareness and action across four thematic areas: Circular Economy, Climate Change and Biodiversity, Empowering People and Societies, and Redefining Businesses Values.


$12 trillion needed to triple global renewables by 2030

By Checky Abuje

Investment in Africa needs to grow five-fold to ramp up renewables twice as fast as global average.

According to the new report by Climate Analytics, $8 trillion of investment is needed for new renewables and $4 trillion for grid and storage infrastructure to deliver the 2030 tripling goal agreed at COP28 – or combined, $2 trillion a year on average. Using climate finance to mobilise $100 billion a year for the rollout in Sub-Saharan Africa, five times current investment levels which will ensure energy access for all and align the region with the global target.

“$2 trillion a year sounds like a cost, but it’s really a choice. We’re set to invest over $6 trillion in fossil fuels over this decade – more than enough to close the tripling investment gap. Faced with this choice, I’d go with the safest, best value option – renewables,” says the report’s lead author and Climate Analytics expert Dr Neil Grant.

The report however calculates how fast different regions need to act to triple global renewables based on current capacities and future needs. Renewable capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa needs to scale rapidly by a factor of seven (double the global average) due to historic underinvestment and energy access needs. The OECD is forecast to double its renewables by 2030, but it needs to triple.

Accelerating action in line with this would close 60% of the global gap between forecast capacity in 2030 and the tripling goal.

“The OECD needs to triple renewables but is currently way off target. Countries in the region claiming to be climate leaders need to walk the talk, not just by ramping up renewables at home, but by coming through for other regions which need finance to contribute to the tripling goal,” says Claire Fyson, co-author on the report and Head of Policy at Climate Analytics.

Asia needs to scale slightly faster than the OECD, almost quadrupling its renewable capacity by the end of the decade. Asia is the only region broadly on course for the tripling goal, driven mostly by policies in China and India.

However, the significant coal and gas pipelines in these countries risks stranded assets or slowing the transition. As renewables are set to grow strongly in the region, new fossil fuel plants are not needed and should be avoided.

“The renewables industry stands ready to deliver on the global tripling goal. But to get there in time, we need governments to take urgent action to turbocharge an already buoyant renewables market. Public finance is key, especially international support to provide access to low-cost capital for emerging markets to join the renewables era, ensuring a clean, secure and just transition for all,” says Bruce Douglas, CEO of the Global Renewables Alliance in reaction to the report.

Tripling renewables by 2030 is not the end of the story. The report finds renewables need to continue growing strongly beyond the end of the decade, scaling up five times by 2035 relative to 2022, to limit warming to 1.5°C. As governments start to develop their 2035 targets for the next round of NDCs, they should consider how to follow through on the tripling ambition collectively agreed at COP28.


Kenya Ready for the UNE-6

By Hon. Soipan Tuya

As Kenya, we are, once again, proud to welcome to Nairobi all delegates from the 193 United Nations Member States including Heads of State and Government; colleague Ministers of Environment and other high-ranking Dignitaries and UN Officials for the 6th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) from 26th February to 1st March this year under the Presidency of the Kingdom of Morocco with the theme “Effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution”.

As you may be aware, UNEA is the world’s highest-level decision-making body for matters related to Environment. UNEA sets the global environmental agenda, provides overarching policy guidance and defines policy responses to address emerging environmental challenges. Most importantly, UNEA undertakes environmental policy review and provides strategic direction for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEA-6 has been organised around six thematic areas that were considered by members in developing the draft resolutions to compel more effective, inclusive and sustainable multi-lateral action. As a result, twenty-two resolutions have been developed and are being negotiated by the member states along five clusters.

It is a privilege for Kenya to host UNEA every two years in Nairobi by virtue four Country being the global headquarters of UNEP, which is one of the two United Nations agencies headquartered in the Global South. The other one being UN Habitat which is also headquartered here in Nairobi.

Kenya continues to live up to its high international ranking as the environment capital of the world by being a trailblazer in climate action. In September last year, Kenya hosted the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, a 3-day high level conference, held alongside the 2023 annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Africa Climate Week, during which the African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call-to-Action was agreed upon and unveiled.
The Nairobi Declaration as the blueprint is popularly referred to, carries Africa’s climate action aspirations and has since become the continent’s main reference document at international fora including the 28th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, The UAE. At the core of the Nairobi Declaration, is Africa’s resolve to pursue green growth by leveraging her immense climate action potential in sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, critical minerals and blue economy among others.

As Kenya, we are actively integrating the Nairobi Declaration into our Country’s broad climate action agenda including reviewing our laws, regulations, strategies and programmes to reflect Africa’s climate action priorities as documented in the Nairobi Declaration. For example, and as you may know, last year we successfully amended the Climate Change Act to provide for a more progressive carbon markets framework. Following last week’s public participation meeting, we are now at the tail-end of establishing regulations to back the Climate Change Act. We are also reviewing the Forest Act, the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) and its regulations among others. Kenya’s first ever National Forest Policy was recently passed and its main objective is to provide a framework for improved forest governance, resource allocation, partnership and collaboration. Further, last year, we made history by recruiting, training and successfully deploying a record 2,664 Forest Rangers.

Kenya is also accelerating the transformation of Kenya’s lineal waste management system into circular economy. As a result, Kenya will hold a side event on circular economy during UNEA-6 to appreciate the strides the country has made in implementing waste polices to address pollution control and best practices in circular economy and extended producer responsibilities.

His Excellency President Dr. William Ruto’s administration is clear on the need for solutions to our environmental challenges illustrated in the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), the Kenya Kwanza Manifesto (The PLAN) and demonstrated through some of the programmes we are rolling out as a Country. Kenya’s National Landscapes and Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, the anchor blueprint for the flagship 15 Billion National Tree Programme that gave our Country the first National Tree Growing Day (Green Holiday) on 13th November last year is one such ambitious initiative that we are fully committed to as a Ministry and as a Government.

As part of Kenya’s deep commitment to achieving 30% tree cover by 2032 through growing of 15 Billion trees, 30% of which will be fruit and fodder species to contribute to our Country’s food and nutritional security and household incomes, the over 6,000 delegates expected in Nairobi for UNEA-6 will all be requested to take time off and grow trees at sites to be communicated.

It is also important to note that as host President and Chairperson of the Committee of the African Union Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), His Excellency President Dr William Ruto will deliver UNEA-6 National and Welcoming Statement on 29th February 2024 at the high-level segment that will be attended by several other visiting Heads of State and Government, and dignitaries. On the same day in the evening, and in line with the established UNEA tradition, I will host a reception for all delegates during which we will showcase Kenya’s world celebrated hospitality.

During the entire duration of UNEA-6, February 26th to March 1st, there will be a showcase of Kenya’s rich cultural heritage, climate action potential and touristic offering to visiting delegates at the venue. We thank UNEP for allowing us to set up Kenya House at the venue.

UNEA-6, will, without doubt, be an intense week of many related activities including bilateral meetings and hundreds of side events. I encourage media to keenly follow the conversations and report outcomes of these meetings.

As the host country, we look forward to the outcome of UNEA 6 being the Ministerial Declaration, the adoption of the resolutions and decisions and that UNEA-6 will enhance the solutions to the Triple Planetary Crisis of Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss and Pollution.

The writer is the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry of Kenya

climate inv

Climate Investment Funds Endorses Kenya’s $70 million Plan for 100 percent Clean Energy

The Trust Fund Committee of the Climate Investm ent Funds (CIF)has endorsed a $70 million plan, with an initial allocation of $46.39 million, to advance the integration and utilisation of renewable energy in the Kenyan grid, enabling the country’s transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2030. This approval, as part of CIF’s Renewable Energy Integration (REI) investment program, will support Kenya’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent by 2030 and achieve Net Zero by 2050.

The initiative will see Kenya’s CIF REI plan support access to clean, adequate, affordable, and reliable electricity in the country. It is expected to mobilize at least an additional $243 million from the public and private sectors through implementing partners—the African Development Bank and the World Bank Group.

Currently, the share of renewable energy in Kenya is almost 90 percent – including 45 percent geothermal and 26 percent hydropower,but the system faces challenges. During evening hours, it struggles to meet peak demand, but later, at night, generation surpluses from geothermal and wind are sometimes not dispatched.

Kenya’s REI investment plan will improve dispatch, grid stability, and flexibility to address these issues. It will facilitate future private sector investment in innovative storage technologies, such as battery storage and pumped hydropower. The energy system will also be better prepared for a significant increase in electric mobility and cooking. The plan contributes to the expansion of variable renewable energy, such as wind and solar, from 19 percent to 30 percent by 2030.

CIF has established the pioneering REI program precisely to address the issues linked to the deployment of clean and intermittent power sources in developing economies. REI can support a mix of supply/demand side flexibility measures— enabling technologies, enabling infrastructure, market design and system operations improvement, and electrification and demand management; while advancing social inclusion and leveraging private sector financing.

Ten countries have been selected to take part in this program, with Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Fiji, and Mali’s investment plans endorsed by the CIF Trust Fund Committee in 2023.


$15M additional funding to tackle food waste around the world

Work tackling the huge environmental cost of food waste has been given a massive boost this year, as international climate action NGO WRAP receives catalytic funding from the Ballmer Group.

The $15M funding will support essential work by WRAP and our partners in tackling food loss and waste through existing Voluntary Agreements in South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico and to create a new food waste voluntary agreement in Brazil. The funding covers ongoing work with money allocated to each nation to increase the systemic Target-Measure-Act approach to reduce food waste across supply chains and in the home, which globally are responsible for around 10% of all Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

David Rogers, International Director at WRAP said, “This funding is an absolute game-changer, and the largest philanthropic donation WRAP has received for our work around the world. It marks a transformational moment, bringing substantial, multi-year funding to scale up the impact of food waste voluntary agreements around the world. We know the model works, having proven it first in the UK before working with our excellent partners to support them in adapting it to local contexts and challenges. We are incredibly grateful to The Ballmer Group for the funding at this critical time, with just six years left to halve food waste by 2030.”

The Public-Private Partnership model, or Voluntary Agreement, utilises a Target-Measure-Act approach to coordinate and drive action by key partners along the global supply chains that produce our food. They can deliver significant and lasting reductions in food waste with the model proving particularly successful in the UK, where the Courtauld 2030 voluntary commitment has seen retailers and manufacturers cut their business food waste by nearly 30%.

WRAP has helped to establish and support six food pacts, building from the blueprint of the Courtauld 2030 model. The climate action NGO is working with the partners delivering the agreements in each nation as they adapt the approach to suit their unique situations. Together, this international network provides a co-ordinated group of actors aligned to a shared ambition, mirroring the approach WRAP instigated to tackle plastic pollution through a series of national Plastics Pacts.

The announcement of the grant follows the recent publication of the Philanthropic Roadmap’ (Reducing Food Loss and Waste – A Roadmap for Philanthropy).

Involving 50 expert organisations and led by the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), WRAP, ReFED and the World Resources Institute (WRI). With funding from the Bezos Earth Fund, the Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation, the IKEA Foundation and the Robertson Foundation, the Philanthropic Roadmap gives a blueprint identifying $300,000,000 in ready-to-fund philanthropic investments that can deliver major improvements for the climate, economy, and society by cutting food waste. National coordination through voluntary agreements is viewed as a major route to driving change.

“We have the partnerships, the framework, and the expertise to make inroads into global food waste, but what’s been missing has been serious investment at the global level. That’s why support by The Ballmer Group, and the creation of a dedicated ‘Philanthropic Roadmap’, are such important developments. Both can help fix our failing food system and help tackle climate change, and both show that investment – whether philanthropic or governmental – are crucial to help repair our failing food system,” said David Rogers.

WRAP’s work around the world

With offices in the UKAustralia and the USA, WRAP works globally with governments, businesses, and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency within the food system, plastics and in textiles. The organisation takes UK learning and successes and works with in-country partners to develop programmes that fully address the needs of the local area. It has programmes operating in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Americas. It recently brought representatives from Red de Bancos de Alimentos de México (BAMX) and the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD) to COP28 to outline the impact public-private partnerships are making in those countries.


South Africa hosts first in-person meeting of Plastics Pacts Network

The first ever meeting of the international members of the Plastics Pact Network  convened in South Africa this week, with delegates from around the world meeting in Cape Town. The inaugural three-day intensive programme is a chance for all to share experiences and knowledge to accelerate critical work reducing the global impact of plastic waste, and pollution.

Representatives from twelve of the thirteen Plastics Pact Network members – convened by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WRAP – attended from Australia (representing New Zealand and four Pacific Islands), Canada, Chile, Colombia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, the UK, and the USA.

The public/private partnership model or voluntary agreement, adopted by many nations ahead of the United Nations Global Treaty to end plastic pollution, drives practical action around a comprehensive plastics’ circular economy approach that embeds elimination and reuse within measurable targets. Each Pact is working independently across the packaging value chain in its own geography to bring together key players to address its own unique situation.

Pact members include major FMCG brands, packaging companies, producers, traders, processors, academia, trade associations, NGOs, and governments who are all working towards a shared vision, with business signatories measured against a series of science-based targets to reduce the impact they have on the environment through their use of plastics. The Network connects those individual national and regional initiatives to better implement solutions towards a circular economy for plastic.

More than 800 major businesses are signed up to all thirteen Plastics Pacts with the combined population impacted by their work estimated to be in the region of as many as 2.4 billion people, or 30% of the world’s population. Today’s meeting was the first time the majority had sat down to share their learnings in person, with WRAP’s CEO Harriet Lamb opening the inaugural meeting.

Harriet Lamb said “With plastic in the bloodstreams of animals and fish, we need to ramp up action on plastics across the world through regulation and voluntary action. We welcome the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations underway and call for an ambitious Treaty. Alongside that, we need to fast-track collaborative action by companies, governments, and civil society. That is the power of this voluntary network, bringing together members from across the world to share best practice – from major companies to waste-pickers to bring about practical, empowering change.” 

Whilst regulation is critical, public/private partnerships delivered through the Plastics Pact model accelerate action and deliver tangible results. These collaborative partnerships can play a key role as a mechanism for nations to meet mandated obligations under the United Nations Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution.

The All-Plastic Pacts workshop will share best practices, insights, and experiences of what works in terms of member engagement, collaborative projects, and policy influence to achieve impact on the ground. It will identify approaches to accelerate progress within each country, with all at varying stages in their journey. The three-day workshop will also explore the future ambition of the Network and how it can have more impact.

The meeting will also begin important preparations for the first global report across the entire Pact Network, which will present the impact achieved by all thirteen Plastics Pacts. This report will be published in preparation for the next round of INC4 discussions for the Global Plastics Treaty framework, taking place in Ottawa this April.

Greening Environment

Kenya: For Sustainable Greening Environment, Circular Economy Model Is Here

Linear Economy Seasons Exit, Comes Time For Circular Model

By Henry Owino


Kenya Government is seriously committed to mitigating climate change by all means to the point of declaring a national public holiday to plant trees. November 13, 2023 will go in Kenya history books and United Nations Environmental Archives for dedicating a day specifically for reforestation program.

Another area of climate change mitigation Kenya government is so much devoted at is waste management. This is evidenced by banning single use plastic bags in the country back in 2017, a move that was lauded by international environmentalists as a major groundbreaking.

The ban applies to the use, manufacture and importation of the banned plastics within Kenya. Then Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resource Prof Judi Wakhungu said wanton littering sadly remains a part of Kenya’s culture irrespective of socio-economic status.

This seemed to be true as beyond the policy, no one wanted to take responsibility for their litter. This was beyond national and county governments intervention but more on the individual or household level.

It did not take long before a presidential directive on 5 June, 2019 during World Environment Day, another ban was imposed on the use of plastic bottles on National Parks beaches, will come into effect on 5 June 2020 in National Parks, forests, beaches, conservation areas among other protected areas.

The policy meant that tourists and visitors were no longer allowed to carry plastic water bottles, cups, disposable plates, cutlery, or straws into protected areas. The move was not welcomed by several citizens including foreigners as it required each and everybody to carry with them reusable water bottles, cutlery or crockery.


On several occasions in media interviews with Prof Wakhungu then CS for Environment responded to her critics that it was her responsibilities to address the critical issue of pollution. Plastic pollution had become a national disaster, piling up everywhere in neighbourhoods and clogging drainage systems.

During circular economic training for East Africa journalist held in Nairobi, Kenya Prof Wakhungu said she had to enforce the policy because the country toyed with the idea of tackling the issue for many years. There were several meetings with endless discussions between manufacturers and the ministries for environment and industrialization.

“None of the organizations or collaborating ministries wanted to take lead despite numerous meetings with back-and-forth discussions. No action was being taken, despite the situation turning dire hence my action as then head of the line Ministry acted,” Prof Wakhungu affirmed.

Plastic pollution remains one of the most serious threats to the planet’s health. Single-use plastics are polluting majority of ecosystems from rivers, lakes, oceans, soil, rainforests to the world’s deepest ocean trench. Worse still is when consumed by fish, birds and livestock, plastic waste ends up in human food chain.

If for this reason that Kenya yet again introduced a policy on Waste Management Act, 2022. This after Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act No. 8 of 1999 (EMCA), seems to be failing the country’s target. The goal has been to eradicate plastic waste by the year 2030 according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

United Nations (UN) Environmental Programme cautioned Members States that it estimates there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean, unless governments and the private sector promote more resource-efficient design, production, use and sound management of plastics throughout their life cycle.

Policy implementation

According Dr Ayub Macharia, Director, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Kenya is taking a bold step in the right direction as the new law on the Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022, does not only targets end users but producers or manufactures as well.

Dr Macharia, said NEMA is under Ministry of Environment and Forestry which is national government but the function of waste management is devolved to the county governments according Kenya Constitution, 2010. The 47 County Governments are in charge of ensuring that the system is running, while National Government role is to coordinate, guarantee the standards are in place and counties are functioning.

“The Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022, requires NEMA to generate waste that is not contaminated from homes, estates, offices, markets, learning institutions among others. The waste should be separated into wet solids and dry solids at least in two different litterbins to picked up by licensed collectors,” Dr Macharia explained.

NEMA Director said the previous Act 1999 had a component of waste management but with loopholes. In 2006, a regulation on waste management was established to strengthen that policy which has been in force up to 2021.

Dr Macharia who is also in charge of Environmental Education and Awareness stated that previous policy focused on linear economy model where waste was being collected in litterbins and transported to dumpsite for disposal. For instance, Nairobi County, dumpsite has been at Dandora dumping site and same to Kisumu County at Kachok dumping site, Nakuru County at Gioto and while Mombasa at Mwakirunge garbage dump just to mention but a few which were gazetted landfills or dumpsites.

“NEMA was not operating illegally as claimed by critics those dumping sites though, many other illegal dumping sites cropped up in all these cities making it very difficult to manage waste pollution and emission in such areas,” Dr Macharia noted.

NEMA Director clarified that several illegal dumping sites was one of the reasons why the government sorted public opinion between 2017 to 2021 and developed Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022, through Parliament and approved by Presidential Assent. So, the current law on sustainable waste management is not implausible idea.

Currently the new law now requires waste collectors or pickers also to do further separations by sorting waste for valuables recovery before finally delivering the waste to recyclers for resource regeneration. Recyclers are responsible for collectors working conditions and protective gears.

It is estimated that Kenya generates between 3,000 to 4,000 tons of waste per day, majority of which originates from urban areas. According to World Bank, the country’s capital, Nairobi generates between 2,000 to 2,500 tons of waste day.

According Dr Macharia, out of total waste generated in Nairobi, 60 percent is organic and 30 percent are recyclables or recoverable. This means that 90 percent of waste in the capital city is valuable while remaining 10 percent minimal can be used to generate energy.

“Remember that the new law requires everybody to segregate their waste at its source into two separate litterbins and give it out to licensed waste service providers. Licensed collectors are the only people responsible for delivering waste at the materials recovery facility not at dumpsite anymore,” Dr Macharia emphasized.

The 47 counties in Kenya are expected to be exiting dumpsites which are to be converted into landfills but due to lack proper site, NEMA is responsible for recovering up to 90% of the waste in the counties while the minimal 5% or so volume is left to the landfills for counties management.

Economic benefits

There are economic benefits and values of the waste collected by NEMA; for example, turning organic waste into organic fertilizers which are sold to farmers while plastics to recyclers. The initiative to date has created jobs opportunities for thousands of youth and women and source of livelihood for uncountable people countrywide.

“For example, if Nairobi County generates 3000 tons of waste daily, of which 1800 tons is organic waste thus 60 percent excluding plastics. Out of these, a half a tone of the waste can support five jobs therefore the total waste in Nairobi County only secure more 18,000 jobs,” Dr Macharia stated.

Section 13 of the Waste Management Act, 2022, introduces Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). The concept says the producer whether a manufacturer, importer or dealer of items in Kenya should take care of their products even at post-consumer levels.

“Taking care means the product after unpackaging is collected, segregated and delivered to the recyclers or properly disposed. This circular economy model has opened up the country for many opportunities especially to companies as long as they demonstrate to manage that product and packaging,” NEMA Director clarified.

Consequently, EPR brings in responsibility to Kenyan producers, companies unlike in the past where they could import anything from anywhere and expecting counties to have all technologies to manage any product imported from anywhere in the world.

Accordingly, responsibility is now shifting away from County Governments to the entrepreneurs, producers, companies because they know better products contents, the recyclers. In short, import products but ensure it have its local recyclers.

NEMA Policy

All producers, manufacturers or importers must register their products with NEMA. For instance, Kenyan importing sugar from Brazil then repackage it locally is a producer because of packaging introduction.

Upon registration, the producers are required to network form association with their producer responsible organizations (PROs) who are mandated to oversee waste collection all the way to cycling plant. Upon forming association, they share more information about the products depending on its licensed category.

Purpose of association is for two companies to agree on; how the byproducts are collected, materials transported, assign recyclers and calculate the entire cost of managing the producer waste. “For example, if the entire cost is Ksh 1000 for the whole procedure of waste management, the total amount is divided individuals involves. That is how extended producer responsibility (EPR) works,” NEMA Director simplifies.

There are five categories of licensing products: First category is Packaging (hazardous or non-hazardous) examples include; paints, pharmaceuticals, acids, cosmetics among others. Non-hazardous are such as; sugar, tea, coffee among others.

The third category is electronic waste; the fourth category is end-of-use vehicles including aeroplanes, motorbikes, ships and such like so that they are not dump anywhere on the roads and water bodies. The fifth and last category is non-packaging which include; shoes(leather), old tires, diapers and the counting continuous to 32 items listed initially subjected to EPR regulation.

Fortunately, Section 13 of NEMA laws subjects all producers to EPR regardless of the category the items fall under. The initiative is in schedule one of the regulations and can be expanded to cover others but at least for now, the most problematic waste are the 32 items listed falling under the five categories.

“Let me reiterate here that ones a producer registers his products with NEMA, they must identify their PROs, come up with plan on how to manage the resources, cost the plan and divide the cost among yourselves,” Macharia explained.

Adding; incentives are entrenched in the law of Sustainable Waste Management and grounded on the concept of waste reduction. If you reduce waste, you pay less, and that is where incentives are hidden in reduction.

“For instance, if you import materials that are easy to recycle then you pay less. But if you import products that is hard to correct in the environment, contain hazardous contents or additives or with challenges of life cycle then producer is charged more by recycler.

For products that are not recyclable, it means the producer must incinerate the items and the cost is extremely very high. Therefore, the cost here is the deterrent in terms of incentives.

Waste management opportunities

According to NEMA laws of location proximity, waste should be processed as near as possible from its point of generation. As a result, local residents have the opportunity to start small scale Waste Management facilities (SMEs). This is possible at the estate level where materials recovery facility is set up for organized communities to do composting using black soldier fly that is possible indoors and sell to farmers, collect and sort plastics for sale to recyclers among others.

There is ready market as waste no longer go to dumpsites but to recyclers’ facilities. There is also compensation from EPR for collecting materials of their products which today have value unlike linear economy model. So, there are plenty of business opportunities that has come with circular economy model using simple technologies.

Sustainable Waste Management Act,2022, is contributing to reduction of greenhouse gases emission in a big way. Organic waste generates methane gas that is released to the atmosphere forming about 10% GHS that warms the ozone layer hence extreme heats. However, this can be avoided by turning organic waste into organic fertilizer then protein profitable to farmers and beneficial to environment.

Again, plastic bottles or glass which are to be mined at some point at cost for petroleum the same to glass for it to become glass somebody has to mine gravel, then heating to make the glass. But if the glass is collected, transported, and delivered to recyclers, all other cost of making new ones is cut, emissions resulting from mining, transportation and processing are all reduced.

All these are enhancing circular economy which have several components. So, in circular economy model, materials are held within a loop without losing anything. Organic waste will go through processes without losing anything to regenerate resource to the next generation of plants to generate the same food.

Circular economy is a complete loop without causing emissions to the environment and it has various options; reduce, reuse, recycle within a loop.

Stakeholders’ compliance

The law targets many players to do the public awareness. These include; National and County Governments, NEMA, Civil Society Organizations including PROs and producers labeling their products to be protected from open dumping. Service providers are crucial at the household level by educating families to segregate waste at the source hence awareness responsibility everybody across the board.

“To promote and encourage this initiative we have sponsored a TV programme known as ‘Taka Thursday’ running every week. It creates awareness among the public and stakeholders on their roles and responsibility on waste management,” MENA Director said.

Accumulated waste deposits are an indication of societal lifestyles. The waste management affects every person and institution in society. The purpose of this National Solid Waste Management policy is to guide sustainable solid waste management in Kenya to ensure a healthy, safe and secure environment for all. The Strategy is a deliberate and visionary commitment for the country in the management of solid waste.

The strategy seeks to establish a common platform for action between stakeholders to systematically improve waste management in Kenya. The measures set out in the strategy cannot be undertaken without a collective approach to waste challenges, and the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders in their implementation.

Remember, Kenya government targets to eradicate plastic waste by 2030 following the SDGs goals especially 11 and 12 sustainable cities and communities and responsible consumption and production respectively.