NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Tuesday marked the World Environment Day
with a call for renewed commitment by the government, industry
and conservation groups to eradicate plastic waste choking vital
ecosystems like freshwater bodies.
Keriako Tobiko, the
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, said Kenya is on
course to contain pollution linked to poor disposal of plastics
thanks to punitive legislation, public awareness and investments
in recycling projects.
"Poor disposal of plastics is poisoning natural wonders like
coral reefs and marine wildlife. We must therefore come together
and explore sustainable alternatives to reduce production and
excessive use of single-use plastics which is a threat to
environment and human health," Tobiko said in an article
published in the local dailies.
According to Tobiko, Kenya is expected to produce 33 billion
tonnes of plastic by the year 2050 while a bulk of that quantity
will end up in oceans.
He noted that Kenya’s landmark decision to ban production and
use of plastic carrier bags in August last year has reduced
pollution of critical ecosystems while improving human health.
Charles Sunkuli, the Principal Secretary in the ministry of
environment and forestry, said Kenya has won accolades globally
for enforcing plastic ban that has revitalized the country’s
"Since the implementation of the ban on plastics bags began
in August 2017, the country has witnessed great improvement in
general cleanliness, aesthetic natural beauty of landscapes and
decreased cases of clogging storm water drains," Sunkuli said.
He stressed that public education coupled with investments in
appropriate technologies are key to promote recycling of plastic
waste and generate green jobs for the youth.
Kenya has domesticated global best practices to enhance
management of plastic waste that has soared amid rapid
Geoffrey Wahungu, the Director General of National
Environment Management Authority, said they have fast-tracked
implementation of a global action plan to reduce plastic waste
through enactment of new laws, recycling and consumer awareness.