KENYA – Kenyan manufacturers have moved to stop a ban on plastic bottles and instead resolved to engage stakeholders to support recycling at all levels, reports Business Daily.

According to Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) vice-chairman, Mr Mucai Kunyiha, manufacturers would engage recycling firms as well as support waste collectors to establish viable value chains to create jobs and wealth.

Plans are on the way to make a review of the memorandum of understanding signed with waste collectors every quarter on the progress made to control the littering as well as measures taken to enhance recycling.

“We are working with different stakeholders to help achieve policy changes that support a truly circular economy and a more holistic view of material use, collection, and reuse of plastic bottles,” said Kunyiha.

“Kenya needs jobs and new revenue streams that support development by the county and national governments.”

As part of the MoU, KAM will link waste collectors to recyclers to create new value chains while the National Transport and Safety Authority will play a role in licensing of trucks ferrying waste-for-recycling to ease challenges at cess roadblocks where county revenue collectors levy wastes transporters.

The government unveiled plans to ban plastic bottles last year but this is yet to take effect due to strong opposition from manufacturers that is, water, juices, and dairy products bottlers.

The National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) came up with plans to carry out the ban in April if the manufacturers did not engage plans on how to recycle the bottles.

Stakeholders in the manufacturing industry then promised to start up recycling companies to deal with the waste.

The manufacturers had earlier opposed the ban on plastic carrier bags on August 28 last year saying it would cost the industry an estimated US$871.02 million.

According to the Ministry of Environment, approximately 50 million bottles are used annually countrywide, disposed of into the environment.