30th August 2023, Nairobi: The National Environment Management Agency (NEMA) has announced a 60-day notice to all producers in Kenya to comply with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations. In a public notice dated 30th August 2023, NEMA noted that the Sustainable Waste Management Act became effective on 22nd July 2022. Section 13 of the Act requires every producer to bear mandatory extended producer obligations to reduce pollution and environmental impacts of the products they introduce into the Kenyan market and waste arising therefrom.
“Producers are expected to submit their EPR plan to the Authority within TWO (2) months after publication of this notice to enable the commencement of inspection and enforcement action to weed out joyriders,” emphasized NEMA, adding that “The Authority has commenced inspection and enforcement on compliance with this Act.”
EPR is a policy approach based on the Polluter-Pays Principle, which requires that all producers bear mandatory responsibility for the post-consumer stage in their products’ lifecycle, prioritizing re-use, increasing recycling rates for technical material, and safe disposal in a temporary, controlled landfill. The Act defines a producer as an entity that introduces goods, products, and packaging into the country using authorized means by manufacturing, importing, converting, filling, refilling, repackaging, or rebranding.
“Allow me also to clarify that the EPR is a two-edged sword, and Kenya has set in motion a process whereby all producers have been given an opportunity to demonstrate that they trade in products that do not degrade the environment. In the unlikely event that the product continues to cause pollution, this will trigger the need for NEMA and the producers to engage in a discussion with the intention to ban that product or packaging. Therefore, EPR requires you to rethink the products you introduce into the Kenyan market to ensure they are safe,” said NEMA Director General Dr. Mamo B. Mamo in a recent meeting with producers on EPR implementation.
According to the Sustainable Waste Management Policy 2021, every Kenyan generates about 0.5 kgs of waste every day, amounting to 25,000 tonnes per day for a population of 50 million Kenyans. This waste by composition, is 60% organic, 30% recyclables, and 10% others.
“This proactive measure seeks to minimize the environmental footprint of products from inception to disposal. By holding producers accountable for their products’ end-of-life management, the EPR aims to foster innovation in eco-friendly design, recycling, and waste management. Therefore, this notice underscores our commitment to promoting responsible production, reducing environmental impact, and ensuring a cleaner and greener future for future generations,” says Ebenezer Amadi, Program Manager at Sustainable Inclusive Business, under the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
Producers may submit their EPR plans individually or collectively in a compliance scheme under a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO), indicating the following:
1. The list of products introduced into the Kenyan market.
2. If you are a member of a collective scheme, provide evidence of membership.
3. Estimated annual volume/quantity of product(s) introduced into the market.
4. Mechanisms put in place for identification and tracking of your product(s).
5. List and location of your drop-off or collection points per county (see criteria below for establishing a collection point). You can also use existing transfer stations licensed by NEMA.
6. Evidence of payment of recovered materials collection service for each product
7. Planned awareness strategy and activities
8. Workplan per county and budget for fulfilling EPR obligations
9. Contracts with NEMA licensed waste transporters to move recovered products from collection points
10. Collection schedule from collection points
11. Contracts with waste processing facilities such as recyclers, incinerators and landfills.
12. EIA or Summary Project Report (SPR) approvals as advised from the County NEMA office.
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