Plastic-free environment can beat climate change

A plastic recycling point at the Nyali Public Beach in Mombasa.


Kenya once emerged as a leader in the fight against plastic pollution after being among the first countries in East Africa to limit the use of single-use plastics. It also signed the Clean Seas initiative to rid waterways of plastic waste.

The main aim of banning plastic bottles was to save human and aquatic life. Researchers had warned that as plastic pollution increases in the country, Kenyans would suffer the related health complications. Despite pioneering the ban, however, we are still drowning in single-use plastic.

Kenya outlawed single-use of plastic bags in 2017 but there are still no laws requiring corporations that profit from single-use plastic bottles to clean up what they produce. Even today, plastic bags are circulated all over the country as if there is no information of its ban.

Kenyans should understand that the discarded PET bottles line roadsides and drainage ditches like confetti and swathes of rivers flow beneath floating canopies of the stuff. The deadly waste eventually ends up in lakes and oceans, causing dangerous pollution.

During the rainy season, this becomes dire as the plastic waste clogs drainage systems, contributing to massive flooding. To fight against the effects of climatic change, our environmental bodies should strengthen laws spelling out responsible plastic use and how to recycle used plastics for an effective and efficient health environment.

Citizens ought to embrace effective recycling of used plastics to ensure a clean environment. All should support the world leaders, who have pledged to stop the adverse effects of climatic change by 2030. Let us protect our planet, Earth.

Amos Ngeno, Kisumu