TAKEHOLDERS CALL FOR THE GAZETTEMENT OF THE EPR REGULATION AND 100% IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BAN ON THE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC CARRIER BAG

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), through its knowledge center Stainable Inclusive Business Kenya (SIB-K),convened the second Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulation Sensitization Workshop in Mombasa.

The workshop is part of a series of events raising awareness about EPR to the private sector and its mandate, with funding by USAID under Prosper Africa.

The workshop held on May 15th 2024,called for proactive compliance among producers and facilitated a dialogue between the private sector and NEMA, the regulatory authority. The implementation of the EPR currently focuses on data and cleaning up the environment.

“We’re not an exception in the struggle against waste pollution and unsustainable management practices. The law is clear. If your product generates waste, you must ensure it is not found in the environment. The County Government lacks the resources to take the waste responsibility solely, and we must therefore work collectively with the private sector to implement the Mombasa County Solid Waste Management Act alongside the EPR regulation,” said Rogers Wangila, the Head of Solid Waste Management in Mombasa County Government.

The second Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulation Sensitization Workshop in Mombasa

According to Karin Boomsma, the Sustainable Inclusive Business Project Director, the extended producer responsibility should ultimately lead to conscious use of materials, to ensure the  reduction, reuse, repurposing, and recycling of materials responsibly.

“To implement this, we all have a responsibility and accountability. It requires a new system that works for all, from the National level to the county level . While finding a way to rethink, redesign, and implement EPR, we need everyone to understand it in a simple way. These series of workshops presents a platform for genuine and honest conversations and accountable action across the entire value chain,” she said.

The EPR system in the country would  hold producers accountable for recovering waste from their products at their end-of-life cycle. It advocates for increased awareness of responsible consumption, production, and collective action to share roles and responsibilities to promote the circular economy agenda.

“The private sector is committed to sustainable waste management but calling for collaboration with NEMA through assisted compliance and not creating discomfort for the manufacturing sector. We are also expecting the government to provide tax reliefs or tax holidays for investments in those recycling and producing eco-products, among other things,” emphasized Georgina Wachuka, the Regulatory and Compliance Executive at the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

The workshop had participants from NEMA, Coast Region County Government, businesses from different sectors of the economy as well as actors in formal and informal waste management. These are stakeholders who, despite the delayed gazettement of the EPR regulation, are already at the forefront with EPR-focused initiatives and strategies.

Dr. Ayub Macharia, NEMA Director of Environmental Compliance, during the second Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulation Sensitization Workshop in Mombasa.

“We are not 100 percent, but we are progressing. NEMA is working closely with the private sector and all the county governments to actualize the implementation of the EPR on the ground. But we need more action from the producers to ensure the collectors recognize their products and that the benefits trickle down to the waste pickers,” Dr. Ayub Macharia, the Director of Environmental Compliance at the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), underscored.

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