By Julius Musungu
A Chinese firm has set up Kshs 4.5 billion (US$ 45 million) plastic waste recycling company in Kenya that would collect and recycle 2,000 tonnes of PET bottles every month.
Weeco Recycling Company has set up operations in Athi River and Mombasa and targets to collect and recycle plastic bottles into pellets which are later converted into fibre and garment.
“We have entered into the Kenyan market to provide a lasting solution to the challenge posed by post-consumer PET bottles. In addition, we will provide employment opportunities, revenue for the exchequer and improve the standards of living for the collectors who will be supplying to us. We are able to recycle between 1,000 tonnes and 5,000 tonnes every month having established two processing lines in Nairobi and Mombasa,” Weeco Recycling Company Director Wang Zhang Yin said.
He was speaking in Athi River when the firm signed a partnership contract with PETCO, Kenya PET Recycling Company – which is an industry body mandated with the responsibility of regulating the management of post-consumer PET packaging in the country.
On his part PETCO Kenya Chairman John Withaka said that the firm would play a key role in the recycling of post-consumer PET packaging in the country, in line with its strategic objectives, given that plastic waste has become a global challenge with 8 million tonnes of plastics finding their way into the oceans every year with the micro-plastics now a part of the food chain.
“In line with our core strategy for 2019, which is to stimulate the collection and
recycling of post-consumer PET packaging, aside from Weeco, we have also identified other recycling partners to be able to achieve our 2019 target of recycling 5,900 tonnes or 247 million bottles,” said Waithaka.
“PETCO will provide a price subsidy of Kshs.5 per kilogram of PET bottles collected and recycled by Weeco Limited, over and above the current purchasing price,” he said.
The signing ceremony had the blessing of County Government of Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Director General Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu and the United Nations Environment Kenya Coordinator Dr, Cyrille Lazare.
Moving forward, PETCO plans to kick-off a national call to action for the collection of PET bottles, consumer awareness activities such as the rolling out of designated drop-off sites in conjunction with our partners, implementation of segregation at source programs, establishment of collection centres in various counties.