Stalemate between NEMA and manufacturers in resolving plastic ban
By David Indeje / Published August 31, 2017 | 5:57 am
A stakeholder meeting between the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and plastic manufactures and users in Kenya on Wednesday ended in stalemate with the sector still temporary suspended.
The forum convened by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers brought together NEMA representatives led by Director General Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu, and a cross-section of diverse businesses affected by the ban including manufacturers of plastic packaging material, pharmaceuticals, agro- chemicals, maize flour, salt as well as representatives from furniture, fish, motor vehicle and horticulture.
KAM CEO, Ms Phyllis Wakiaga said that manufacturers have always been ready to partner with NEMA and the Government to find solutions for our environmental challenges.
“Manufacturers want clarity, certainty and predictability because the constant addition of exemptions and introduction of new directives since the gazettement have thrown the industry into disarray. Our members are currently faced with the dilemma on whether to continue with production or stop, and what to do with the current stock, as we await clarification from NEMA,” Ms Wakiaga said.
KAM Director and Head of the Legal Committee, Mr. Mucai Kunyiha added that it was important that new terminologies that are being introduced as part of exemptions or new directives, are understood uniformly by all stakeholders.
“The issue of waste is a complicated matter that needs the collaboration of all stakeholders. If a body like NEMA does not have the capacity to manage waste nationally, it is impossible for us as the business community to do it solely, as expressed in the extended producer responsibility directive issued by NEMA, just last week,” Mr Kunyiha said.
However, Wahungu said, “It is not wise to rush in making decisions. mistakes are costly. Be patient with us.”
Further, to resolve the outstanding issues, Nema together with manufacturers will establish a joint committee. The committee will include the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and NEMA.
“What we believe as an association is we need a clean environment and economic development. The middle ground is sustainable development. We want a situation that is a win-win for every Kenyan,” said Wakiaga. “We have agreed to form a technical committee that is going to look
into various questions, concerns and clarification from our members and Nema is ready to cooperate.”
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