The Kenya PET Recycling Company Ltd (PETCO Kenya) has entered into a partnership with Mr. Green Africa to provide funding in a bid to increase collection of PET bottles.
Though the funding, PETCO Kenya will be supporting infrastructure for waste collectors and pickers that service Mr. Green Africa’s trading centres by providing waste collection tricycles. This effort will assist the initial 50 waste collectors earn more money for their collections through increased PET collection.
The waste collectors currently collect an average of 40 kilograms a day, under the new partnership this will increase to between 300kgs to 500kgs. These collectors have been using sacks to collect post-consumer bottles, which is not only straining on their physical bodies but also limiting in the quantities they can collect per day kilograms.
“PETCO is committed to increasing the amount of plastic collected from the current levels to 70 per cent by 2030. This partnership with Green Africa is one of the many partnerships we will be rolling out in the coming months to help us achieve this goal,” said John Waithaka, the Chairman of PETCO Kenya.
This subsidy, while still maintaining the price per kilogram of post-consumer bottles to within the global market rates, is seen as a stimulating factor to drive an increase in bottle collection rates.
Currently Mr. Green Africa’s Kawangware Trading Center purchases about 25 tonnes per annum from waste pickers and collectors. It is envisaged that by using the tricycles, the occupational safety of the trade will improve as well as an increase in their collection rates which will directly increase their revenues.
The local plastics industry currently imports 20,000 tonnes of PET annually and is estimated to grow at a rate of 10 per cent each year. The industry is currently achieving a recovery and recycling target of just around 5 per cent of what is consumed. PETCO Kenya aims to achieve recovery and recycling rate of 25 per cent in 2018 and 70 per cent by 2030.