Kenya says circular economy on growth trajectory with policy incentives

NAIROBI, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's circular economy has experienced growth thanks to policy and regulatory incentives that have encouraged private sector investments in recycling of plastic waste, officials said on Thursday.

Joyce Wanjiru, country manager for Kenya PET Recycling Company (PETCO), a parent organization of the recyclers, said the industry has leveraged on conducive policies, innovations and skilled workforce to promote sustainable management of plastic waste.

"Local investors have pioneered initiatives to eradicate plastic pollution menace in the country while generating new jobs for the urban youth," Wanjiru said during a virtual briefing in Nairobi.

She said that the industry has invested in new technologies and skilled manpower to spur the growth of plastic recycling enterprises, create jobs and improve the urban environment.

"We have invested in modern infrastructure to improve plastic waste collection, sorting and recycling. The market for recycled products is growing and generating revenue to the exchequer," said Wanjiru.

She said that tax incentives for industries involved in plastic recycling coupled with adoption of sustainable production and consumption practices are key to spur growth of the circular economy in Kenya.

"The private sector should promote consumer awareness on the importance of recycled or alternative products to tackle environmental challenges like marine pollution," said Wanjiru.

Daniel Paffenholz, managing director of Takataka Solutions, a Nairobi-based waste recycling firm, said that investments in solid waste management will hasten realization of sustainable and green growth in Kenya.

"There is a need to look at the circular economy as the solution to urban pollution, poverty and unemployment," said Paffenholz, adding that Kenyan social enterprises require capital, technology and market linkages to facilitate entry into plastic recycling business," he said.

Ayub Macharia, director in charge of education and awareness in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said that Kenya aims to become a circular economy hub through investment in supportive infrastructure and human resources.

"The government has stepped up cooperation with industry to boost plastic waste recycling and facilitate creation of a vibrant circular economy," said Macharia.

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