By Murimi Gitari, June 10, 2021
KAM launches Extended Producer Responsibility Organization
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has today launched the Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organization (KEPRO) to address post-consumer waste in Kenya.
KEPRO brings together players in the value chain, and aims to promote collaboration, seek commitment by waste value chain players and support the achievement of a circular economy in Kenya. It aims to increase national awareness and protect Kenya’s natural environment from waste and pollution by doing providing incentives and subsidies to improve the growth, efficiency and viability of the waste collection, sorting and recycling sector.
Speaking during the launch, Principal Secretary for Environment at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Chris Kiptoo noted that the establishment of KEPRO is timely, since it has come at a time when government is gearing up to implement the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations.
“Kenya is among many countries that are facing challenges in both capability and capacity to recycle the high volume of waste generated. As such, we can no longer ignore the effects of irresponsible waste management. It is only through collaboration between all players in the value chain that we shall make strides towards sustainability and circular economy,” said Dr. Kiptoo.
He also urged all producers to join the ministry in championing for operationalization of the Circular Economy and Green Growth principles in Kenya.
Principal Secretary for Industrialization at the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Amb. Kirimi Kaberia, highlighted government’s commitment to promoting green growth in the manufacturing sector, saying, “We shall continue to work with manufacturers, through KAM, to ensure the implementation of the 10-year green growth programme, to promote sustainable manufacturing in the country, as envisioned in the Kenya Industrial Transformation Project (KITP) 2015.”
Representing Kitui Governor, and Council of Governors Trade and Investment Committee Chair Honourable Charity Ngilu, Kitui County Deputy Governor Dr Wathe Nzau appreciated local manufacturers for their efforts towards achieving a circular economy in the country.
“KAM has been an extremely responsible private sector partner to the government. It’s because of KAM’s Corporate Social Responsibility that manufacturers have founded KEPRO,” noted Honourable Ngwele.
KAM Chair, Mr Mucai Kunyiha reiterated the commitment of local manufacturers to adopting sustainable manufacturing in Kenya.
“As manufacturers, we must fully embed environmental and social sustainability in the heart of our operations. Most importantly, we need to collaborate with other players in the market such as government regulators, waste collectors and recyclers and the public for a successful transition to a circular economy,” said Mr Kunyiha.
KEPRO Chair Mr. Priyen Tanna underscored the role that KEPRO will play in spearheading the realization of a circular economy in the country, saying “We are confident that a circular economy will redefine the way organizations consider growth and is keen on collaborating with the key stakeholders to reduce waste, drive greater resource productivity, deliver a more competitive economy and reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption.”
The launch of the KEPRO is in line with commitments made in the Kenya Plastic Action Plan, which seeks to enable a circular economy for the environmentally sustainable use and recycling of plastics in Kenya. It follows last year’s launch of a Strategic Business Plan for the establishment of a Plastic Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) in the country. The Business Plan set out the direction of KAM’s priorities in the waste value chain and key action in effecting the steps towards a clean Kenya.