Mombasa: First City in Africa to Join WWF’s Plastic Smart Cities Initiative

Mombasa, August 2nd, 2022. Mombasa has joined WWF’s Plastic Smart Cities Initiative, becoming the first city in Africa to join the global forum led by Cities and Tourism Destination Centers in a concerted effort to fight plastic pollution. By signing the Plastic Smart Cities declaration of intent on 15 June, 2022, following WWF-Kenya’s invitation, Mombasa affirmed its commitment to solve the plastic pollution problem.

Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter our ocean. A large part of this plastic marine debris derives from urban centers, as polluted waterways carry plastic pollution to the ocean.

With the current forecasted population growth, cities are expected to account for two-thirds of the global population by 2050. Therefore, cities have a major role to play in finding solutions for plastic pollution.

In Mombasa, 900 tons of solid waste are generated every day. Out of this, 81 tons are plastic waste. But the city is already in the forefront of fighting plastic pollution through the Mombasa Plastics Technical Working Group, a multi-stakeholder forum under the auspices of the Department of Environment, Waste Management and Energy of the County Government of Mombasa. 

Further, Mombasa is also one of the pioneer cities to enact the Sustainable Waste Management Act 2021, that established a robust legal and institutional framework for sustainable management of waste by promoting progressive requirements such as segregation of waste at source and incorporating circular economy principles.

By joining the Plastic Smart Cities Initiative, Mombasa will inspire many cities across Africa to take ambitious action to rid nature of plastic pollution.

Through this initiative, WWF is connecting city stakeholders with vetted solutions to eliminate plastic pollution by 2030, with cities designating a pilot area for best practice implementation, and with the initial goal to reduce plastic pollution by 30% by 2030.

“The history of Mombasa stretches back a thousand years and casts a huge cultural influence on the entire coastal Kenya and the mainland. Mombasa city is also the gateway to East and Central Africa’s landlocked countries. Today, I am proud that Kenya’s second largest city is the first in the country, and on the continent, to join the Plastics Smart Cities Initiative. I am sure other cities and major towns in Kenya will be inspired to join this initiative to tackle the plastic waste challenge.” Mohammed Awer, Chief Executive Officer, WWF-Kenya.

“Sustainable waste management, especially of problematic materials such as plastics remains a priority for the County Government of Mombasa. We have developed the necessary policy and legislative frameworks to transition to a smart city by 2030 with a focus on circular economy. Joining the Plastic Smart Cities Initiative will accelerate the transition and set a good precedence for other Coastal cities in the region, to stem the tide of plastic leakage into our oceans that would otherwise cause havoc to marine ecosystems and human wellbeing.” Dr. Godffrey Nato County Executive Committee Member, Department of Environment, Waste Management & Energy.

In order to work towards No Plastic In Nature by 2030, WWF collaborates with governments, companies and citizens on new policy standards, new incentives for industry, and new models of innovation for plastic avoidance, use, reuse and better waste management.

Through www.PlasticSmartCities.org, best practices from across the world will be shared.Original press release from here.

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