The WWF is run at a local level by the following offices...
- WWF Global
- Central African Republic
- Central America
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- European Policy Office
Extended Producer Responsibility for Single-Use Plastics and Packaging Waste Streams: An Assessment for Kenya
The global plastic crisis is also affecting Kenya. In Kenya, increasing production and consumption of plastics with short in-use time meet a developing waste management infrastructure with high levels of mismanagement. This results in large amounts of plastic littering the terrestrial and marine environment.
The Kenyan government acknowledges the need for better (plastic) waste management throughout the country, enacting a set of policies including bans on plastic carrier bags and on single-use plastic in protected areas. Most notably, it plans to introduce the “polluter pays” principle in the form of extended producer responsibility (EPR). Within the EPR approach, the producer is held accountable for organizing and financing the waste management associated with their products, releasing other stakeholders from this burden. The current draft regulations plan to introduce EPR in Kenya for a wide range of products, among them specifically (non-hazardous) packaging made from plastics and other materials.
Over the last few years, a growing number of private companies in Kenya have responded to the government’s efforts to tackle plastic waste mismanagement. In preparation for the upcoming legislation, two collective producer responsibility organizations (PROs) have been launched: both the Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organization (KEPRO) and the PET Recycling Company (PETCO) aim to take over the role of the single PRO for non-hazardous packaging foreseen by the current draft regulations. Both initiatives have started waste management activities, including collection and recovery, and early results show higher recycling rates for specific types of plastic.
The public and private sector initiatives combined mean Kenya can be categorized as a country with emerging EPR. But the legal framework for EPR has not yet formally passed the required governmental approvals to come into force. Legal provisions concerning EPR remain in the process of being enacted. It cannot currently be foreseen when and in what exact form the draft EPR regulations or other EPR-related legislation will come into force.
Within this study, we argue that the current efforts to take forward EPR have the potential to significantly improve on Kenya’s waste management deficiencies. Based upon an in-depth analysis of the current waste management system, we assess the emerging EPR framework, including existing and potential stakeholders. Derived from these findings and particularly the challenges and gaps that we pinpoint, we propose recommendations on how to further advance the Kenyan EPR system.
These can be implemented as:
n Direct modifications or additions to the current draft EPR regulations
n Legal stipulations operationalizing existing laws and regulations
n Enactments of additional laws or regulations
n Powers exercised by the stakeholders mandated within the current or planned legal framework.
A total of 13 broader recommendations are discussed in detail.