[Kenya] Ban on plastic bags will cut jobs and affect livelihoods, Kenya Association of Manufacturers
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has stated that local manufacturers were not consulted on the impending ban of plastic bags following the ban to use, manufacture and import all plastic bags.
KAM CEO, Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga noted that the Kenyan Constitution recognizes the principle of adequate public consultation that is entrenched as a basic principle in the Constitution. “According to the Statutory Instruments Act, any regulation-making authorities should undertake appropriate consultation and impact assessment before issuing a policy directive – especially if the directive is likely to have direct or substantial effect on business,” she added.
Manufacturers cited that the ban of plastics will negatively affect jobs and livelihood of Kenyans. “Currently, we have over 176 plastic manufacturing companies in Kenya which directly employ 2.89% of all Kenyan employees and indirectly employ over 60,000 people.” added Ms. Wakiaga.
KAM Chairlady, Ms. Flora Mutahi noted that the 6 month period provided for the ban to take full effect is inadequate, as the companies cannot close down production and clear their stocks within this period.
“This country is not in a position to offer an alternative currently or in the next 6 months. We are however committed to responsible business practices which are geared towards environmental management and conservation and have in this regard been paying excise duty towards waste management for years, which unfortunately has not been applied to address plastic waste.” said Ms. Mutahi.
The plastic sector proposed a fund to address plastic waste management in this year’s budget to be established and run through a Public-Private Partnership as a long-term and sustainable solution to this matter. “The plastics sector has offered to raise funds for comprehensive and sustainable waste management through a voluntary waste management board levy. Through the levy, we envisage to collect funds that will be channeled directly to the collection, sorting, transportation, recycling and disposal of plastic waste across all 47 counties,” added Ms. Mutahi.
KAM Plastics Representative, Mr. Priyav Shah noted that the challenge with plastics is not a production issue rather, a waste management and consumer behaviour issue. “Through the private public partnership, the private sector will ensure that the levy collected is used as intended and waste management is actually being done,” added Mr. Shah.