President William Ruto on Monday indicated that the country would move away from the total plastic ban instituted by the government in 2017.
Speaking during the opening of the Third Session of the Inter-Governmental Negotiating Committee on Ending Plastic Pollution in Nairobi, Ruto stated that there was the possibility of adopting plastic that was not harmful to the environment.
Ruto while addressing the Committee brought together by United Nations (UN) stated that this was one of the ways the world would work towards reversing the adverse effects of climate change.
“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,” the Head of State remarked.
The Third Session of the Inter-Governmental Negotiating Committee on Ending Plastic Pollution, United Nations Office, Nairobi on November 13, 2023.
While touting environment-friendly plastics and their alternatives, Ruto appealed to investors to set up industries for the products in Africa.
He argued that the continent had natural resources that could be used for planet-friendly alternatives.
“This is an opportunity for African plastic alternative industries to become market leaders and drive economic growth and transformation on our continent,” the President remarked.
Eco-friendly plastics refer to plastics that can be broken down or recycled in a circular fashion and include bioplastics and biodegradable plastics.
Bioplastics are plant-based plastics that are made from start-based materials such as potatoes or maize and are capable of breaking down naturally.
On the other hand, Biodegradable plastics are made either partially or completely from non-renewable petroleum containing chemical additives that cause them to decompose.
“Innovation has moved humanity forward for centuries, helping people overcome numerous threats and challenges. The elimination of plastic pollution is a threat that demands innovation,” the President urged the adoption of eco-friendly plastics.
Ruto addressing the Committee added that the private sector must accept and look for opportunities in the sector.
He further added that the new paradigm shift called for investments in mechanisms to make technology transfer and transformation easy and possible.
President William Ruto during the official opening of the Third Session of the Inter-Governmental Negotiating Committee on Ending Plastic Pollution, United Nations Office, Nairobi on November 13, 2023.