President William Ruto on Monday called for a drastic curb in the production and circulation of plastics, highlighting the threats posed by plastics both to the environment and humanity.
Speaking during the official opening of the Third Session of the Inter-Governmental Negotiating Committee on Ending Plastic Pollution in Nairobi, Ruto was categorical that “dealing with plastics pollution is central to making progress on climate change,”
“Plastics could account for up to 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions allowed under 1.5°C by 2040,” President William Ruto
While affirming Kenya’s commitment to ending plastic pollution, he said it is now time for investors, multinational corporations, and technology companies to shift strategic investments to reduce their plastics waste footprint.
“We call upon producers and innovators to rethink plastic products and packaging to reflect the principles of reuse, refill, repair, and repurpose by exploring alternative options such as non-plastic substitutes, alternative plastics, and plastic products that do not have negative environmental, health, and social impacts,” President William Ruto
He made the rallying call warning that if nothing is done, more than a billion tonnes of toxic plastic will be produced by 2060.
“This kind of polluting of our environment is unacceptable and is essentially an existential threat to life, human and otherwise, on Earth,” charged Ruto
“To deal with plastic pollution, humanity must change. We must change the way we consume, the way we produce, and how we dispose of our waste. This is the reality of our world,” he said
He said Kenya demonstrated her commitment to fighting plastics with the ban on the manufacture and use of polythene bags in 2017, followed closely in 2020 with a ban on single-use plastics in protected areas such as national parks, forests, and beaches.
Further in July 2022, Kenya enacted the Sustainable Waste Management Act which according to the President made Kenya the first in the world to subject all products, including plastics, to Extended Producer Responsibility.
“We know this is not enough and we are ready to play our part in the elimination of plastic pollution,” he said
Representatives from more than 170 nations are meeting in Nairobi from Monday to negotiate concrete measures to be included in a binding worldwide treaty to end plastic pollution.
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