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UN Agency Rallies Behind Move to Ban Plastic bags

August 17, 2017

As the deadline to phase out the single-use plastic bags draws closer, United Nations (UN) Environment says doing away with plastic bags production could trigger other multi-dimensional economic benefits in Kenya.

UN Environment wants Kenya’s private sector to collaborate with them in curbing climate change even in the face of thousands of Kenyans losing jobs once the ban takes effect, exactly two weeks from today.

“Any lasting solution needs to engage all partners involved in the product life cycle. The private sector is at the center of the issue and therefore at the center of the solution,” said Executive Director, Erik Solheim in Gigiri, Nairobi, yesterday.Speaking when signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Safaricom, meant to heighten implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Solheim told plastic bags manufacturers that general environment. Half of these are lightweight bags with a thickness of fewer than 15 microns.“Studies from slaughterhouses, especially in urban areas, have revealed that most of the cows slaughtered consume a lot of plastic bags. The same applies to lakes and other fresh water bodies,” said Solheim.

The MoU also focuses on pushing other companies to integrate with their strategic plans the need to protect and conserve the environment.Solheim said despite the global milestones made recently towards addressing the impact of climate change, many challenges remain.

Safaricom Chief Executive, Bob Collymore said the company found that banning plastics from its business, has not affected its operations, but enhanced profits instead.

“We have learned that it costs less to use woven bags than plastic bags,” he said reluctantly to quantify the financial benefits. He said that Safaricom has realized that it is important to use the SDGs as a lens through which it can do business

Director General at the Vision 2030 Secretariat, Dr. Julius Muia said SDGs, in an inclusive way, are profitable for the country.Already plastic manufacturers have started making a last-minute rush to declare their stock and phase-out plan.

According to the National Environment Management Authority Corporate Communications Manager Evans Nyabuto, many manufacturers are heeding the government’s call ahead of the August 28 date to declare their stocks, ready for a comprehensive ban. UN Environment is working closely with the private sector through various initiatives, such as the Finance Initiative which works with over 200 institutions to bring systemic change in global finance for sustainability.

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