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Nema roots for recycling plants to rid Kenya of plastics.

The National Environmental Management Authority has proposed the establishment of small industries to recycle plastic waste.

Such industries are the long-term solution to plastic waste as they convert plastics into useful materials, says Nema board chairman John Konchella.

Konchella was speaking after touring Eco World Recycling Centre and Turtle Bay Beach Resort in Watamu. The centre is run by Watamu Marine Association, an environmental non-governmental organisation.

'A bottle is a resource. The moment you create value to that bottle everybody will be picking it to take it to where it's purchased for recycling,' he said, adding that doing so will make it easy to get rid of bottles the way metals disappeared after the market was made available for metallic waste.

WMA turns trash into cash using solid waste and glass bottles collected from the beaches and hotels.

Konchella said the ultimate solution to solid waste management is a circular economy. 'We must be able to turn around what we produce and we must take responsibility of what we manufacture by making sure that as you manufacture there is a way you can remove it from the public.''

He commended WMA for empowering the community by converting a problem into a resource.

'As a government, we have banned the plastic carrier bags. That one is a done case, and we are very happy that Tanzania has followed suit.'

Tanzania will on June 1 ban plastic carrier bags. That will sort out the plastics menace between Lunga Lunga and Tarime. That will leave the Uganda border points in Busia, Malaba and Tororo to deal with.

WMA projects development manager Steve Trot said by adopting the circular economy approach, Kenya can take plastics out of the waste stream and create a recycling value chain for employment and income generation.

'A 3-way partnership connecting the plastic manufacturing industries in Kenya, Nema and community recycling enterprises would not only reduce the huge volume of plastic waste produced in Kenya but create jobs and turn trash into cash for many waste pickers and recyclers,'' he said.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Apr 19, 2019
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