PET Recycling Company (Petco) is calling for policy push to drive Extended Producer Responsibility, which would hold manufacturers accountable for their plastic waste.
Speaking in a webinar, Country Manager Joyce Gachugi said that the legislation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) would make producers more accountable to plastic materials used throughout their products’ journey, from production to the ultimate disposal. The legislation would also offer tax incentives for manufacturers who recycle their products.
The government is building a policy to encourage Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Speaking in the webinar, Director of Education at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Dr Ayub Macharia says that the Sustainable Waste Management Bill of 2019 will emphasise on the responsibility of managing plastic waste, targeting a 95% recovery to extract value from waste.
The Ministry of Environment is also pushing the private sector to recyclable packing material, which will encourage recycling. It will also push importer to take more responsibility for the waste generated from imports.
However, the country does not have a legally mandatory EPR system.
Gachugi also urged consumers to separate plastic waste before disposal to allow easy recycling of polyethene terephthalate (PET) plastic products beverage bottles. Petco is investing in infrastructure to facilitate segregation of waste at source as a critical driver to plastic recycling. Proper separation, combined with other efforts like reuse, and managing plastic wastes in manufacturing, would reduce plastic waste by maintaining materials within the cycle.
Petco was formed in December 2017 under a guarantee that coordinates efforts of retailers and brands to drive PET plastic recycling. Currently, Petco works with a coalition of willing manufacturers who represent a 60% share in the beverage market, including companies like Unilever, Naivas, Tuskys, Coca Cola, Almasi beverages and Bidco and other industry players like KAM and KEPSA.
Last year, the company recycled a total of 300 million plastic bottles totalling to 7,700 tonnes, or 30% recycle rate. This year, the company targets a 45% recycle rate.