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Incentivizing Waste Management is the way to go

Over the years, industry has been tasked with identifying solutions to manage the waste they produce as well as post-consumer waste.
However, their efforts to establish sustainable waste management mechanisms have been challenged by, among others, lack of adequate consumer awareness, poor policy frameworks and lack of structured extended Producer responsibility
Schemes.

We now see a great turnaround in  this  with the  recent efforts by Government to  incentivize waste recycling. As industry, we continue to push for the implementation of these incentives, particularly the ones stat- ed in the budget statement on (1) proposal to  exempt from VAt  all services  offered to Plastic recycling plants and supply of machinery and equipment used in the construction of these plants and (2) the proposal to lower corporation tax for the first five years to 15% for any investors operating a plastic recycling plant. but over and above this, intriguing innovations are being developed to incentivize consumers to manage waste. these must be encouraged in order to achieve a circular economy.
A great example in Kenya is the development of the customer bora

Mobile Application by  renowned Kenyan artist Julius ‘Juliani’ owino. the App provides a waste manage- ment system that encourages the use of  modern technology  to  facilitate proper disposal of  waste. Having established multiple waste collection stations referred to as taka  banks for consumers to deposit their waste, the application calculates the volume of waste from each depositor and rewards them accordingly.

This is a demonstration of the potential that lies in Africa to develop mutually beneficial social economic inventions for different stakeholders within the waste recycling alue chain, which will play a key role in curbing
environmental pollution. For instance, in Nigeria, organisations African clean Up Initiative and Wecyclers  are work- ing with Morit International School in Ajegunle, Lagos on a recycle Pay project. bbc reports that the Project allows parents to use plastic waste to pay their children’s school fees. the process involves parents providing plastics waste to the school, where it is weighed and the weight converted into monetary value, which is then deducted  from the school fees. the plastic waste is then collected by a
recycling company. Globally, Norway can be described as the champion of driving an incentivized waste management scheme. the Guardianhas stated that the Norwegian Deposit refund System, also known as Infinitum, was established in 1999 and is owned by Norwegian bottlers and retailers. It champions the deposi ing and recycling of plastic bottles and beverage cans. through  this scheme, Norway  has been able to recycle about 97%  of  its  plastic bottles with less than 1% ending up in the environment. In fact, accord- ing to the Infinitum Annual report (2018), only 1 in 8 bottles washed ashore  the  Norwegian coastline actually comes from Norway. How does it work?

According  to Infinitum.No, all producers and importers of bever- ages, in either cans or plastic bottles have to register their products in the deposit system and pay a depos- it to have their bottles labelled with the deposit symbol. consumers can then return the labelled empty cans and bottles to a retailer, like a shop, kiosk or station, who then refunds their deposit paid on purchase. the empty bottles and cans are then returned for recycling.

The success of this scheme has also been attributed to investments in  various collection systems, all of which benefit from the deposit refund revenue. In these examples, it is clear that we need to estab- lish effectively  managed statutory schemes that will encourage more people, organizations and non-gov- ernmental organizations  to play a significant role in  efficient waste management.

If the success of Norway is anything to go by, adding value to waste at different levels of the recycling value chain, particularly on collection is the sure way of reducing the waste in our environment.

The Writer is the CEO of kenya
association of Manufacturers and the
UN global Compact Representative for
kenya. she can be reached at ceo@
kam.co.ke.