Firms to collect all waste they create in new rules


Cabinet Secretary Environment Soipan Tuya at a past event on December 8, 2022. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG

The State is developing new regulations that will compel Kenyan producers to bear extended responsibility for pollution in the entire life cycle of products they introduce on the market.

Under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations, liable manufacturers will be required to mitigate the environmental impacts of their products from their design until the end of life including waste collection and recycling.

The producers will also be expected to register with the National Environment Management Authority, raise awareness on the management of post-consumer products that they introduce in the market, and carry out product life cycle assessments for enhancing environmental sustainability among other obligations.

Environment Cabinet secretary Soipan Tuya said the regulations which would be adopted by May would ensure a circular production of products.

“Our plan focuses on people, the planet, and profits. The idea is to ensure that the goods of today become the resources of tomorrow. To this end, we shall soon pass the Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations and revise the Waste Regulations 2006 to include all kinds of waste,” she said.

The CS also reiterated the government’s commitment to transition Kenya from the linear model where raw materials are collected and transformed into products that are used until they are finally discarded as waste to a circular economy where all forms of waste are returned to the economy or used more efficiently.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers has, however, decried several barriers slowing down the transition to the circular economy, attributed to low levels of awareness, taxation and regulations.

“The global manufacturing landscape is undergoing a profound transformation, characterized by technological innovations geared towards process efficiency and resource recovery, use of clean energy sources, impact-centred global agreements and policies, and responsible production and consumption as we shift to a circular economy. Unfortunately, the uptake of critical tenets of the circular economy in Kenya remains low. It is important that all partners, including government, and stakeholders adapt to the changing trends to drive sustainability,” said Mr Mucai Kunyiha, KAM Board director.

The introduction of the regulations comes barely a year after the senate passed the Sustainable Waste Management Bill, 2021, which gave rise to a new order for efficient waste management, which makes Kenya a step closer to the realization of the importance of a clean and healthy environment by reducing the wastes that escape into the environment.

Nairobi county alone generates around 2,400 tons of solid waste a day where only 45 percent undergoes any form of recovery or recycling process, with a bigger percentage ending up burnt or dumped further polluting the environment.

Kenya is currently in a race with time to fully transition to a green environment by 2030, a move that is being supported by a tree-planting project that will see at least 15 billion trees planted by 2032.

The initiative requests each individual living in Kenya to plant 30 trees a year amounting to 300 trees per person in 10 years.

The program is being undertaken in all 47 counties nationwide with all stakeholders including community groups, NGOs, schools, churches, and farmers, being urged to take active participation by raising tree nurseries and planting trees.

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