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Kenya’s manufacturers to recycle up to 20pc of PET plastic bottles this year

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The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Wednesday said it targets to recycle up to 20 per cent of PET plastic bottles this year with a further 70 per cent by 2030.

The goal, KAM said is based on the circular economy concept that will involve various stakeholders including waste collectors, recyclers, the Ministry of Environment, and NEMA.  Currently, there over 150 registered waste recyclers.

PET bottle recycling. Bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET, sometimes PETE) can be used to make lower grade products, such as carpets. To make a food grade plastic, the bottles need to be hydrolysed down to monomers, which are purified and then re-polymerised to make new PET.

The association will Establish and implement the agreed Take Back and Extended Producer Responsibility schemes for PET Bottles. Additionally, it will undertake clean-up activities and awareness creation in partnership with County Governments and other government agencies.

KAM’s acting Chief executive Tobias Alando called on the private sector to complement the government’s efforts to ensuring a cleaner environment.

‘We are happy to sign these partnerships and believe that this is the first and most crucial step in the journey towards effective waste management in Kenya.”

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He was speaking when the lobby group, with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Forest and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) signed an MoU with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Kenya Association of Waste Recyclers Secretary, and Dandora Hip Hop City for PET plastic waste management.

As part of its efforts to promote effective management of PET plastic bottles, manufacturers through KAM and partners have committed to undertake measures to encourage recycling and re-use of plastic bottles across the country.

According to Dr. Ayub Macharia, Chairman of the National PET Management Committee, ‘Recycling represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits. In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we dispose of them that’s the problem.’

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