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NEMA Issues 60-Day Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Compliance Notice

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.

A statement to newsrooms indicates that 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 months after publication of this notice to enable commencement of inspection and enforcement action to weed out joyriders,” emphasized NEMA, adding that, “The Authority has commenced inspection and enforcement on compliance to 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 an 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 kilograms of waste every day amounting to 25,000 tonnes per day for a population of 50 million Kenyans. This waste by composition is 60 percent organic, 30 percent recyclables and 10 percent 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).
By Joseph Ng’ang’a 



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