Clean Up Kenya and Nairobi Recyclers have unveiled a prototype of a ‘Tower of Plastics’ which we plan to build in Nairobi to raise awareness on plastic packaging pollution in the country and pressure the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to address this problem.
This 3-story prototype is filled with over 5000 pieces of PET plastics which are part of what we subjected to a brand audit we conducted in August this year and which found The Coca-Cola Company to be the most polluting corporation in the country.
Plastic packaging pollution continues to be a major problem in the country. There are ongoing attempts to develop an Extended Producer Responsibility law by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to help address this problem. However, the proposal which is set to be taken to parliament has several fundamental flaws and is unlikely going to reduce plastic packaging pollution in the country.
Among these flaws include a lack of emphasis on the Deposit Return Scheme as a solution to the plastic pandemic despite global evidence this is the first-line strategy to reducing pollution by certain fractions of plastics such as PETs. The law also proposes to establish EPR monopolies in the country. There is also a real danger that corporations will shift packaging waste management responsibilities to consumers by increasing the prices of goods to cover costs of managing Producer Responsibility Organisations which they will self-manage. The law is also very weak on fines and will encourage clever accounting by the corporations when reporting.
This ‘Tower of Plastics’ is thus a significant protest tool and will further pile pressure on the government and other stakeholders to expedite the presentation of a robust EPR law to parliament. This is just one intervention Clean Up Kenya is undertaking to ensure Kenya has a robust EPR law. Once the law is taken to parliament we will also make submissions and if necessary seek legal redress on his matter.
The ‘Tower of Plastics’ prototype is being hosted at Shalom House in Nairobi and continues to receive many visitors including from organizations like JICA.
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