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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya marks Environment Day amid call to end plastic pollution

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 green agenda.

"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 industrialization.

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.

             

 

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