In preparation for the INC-3, the third session of negotiations on an international treaty to end plastic pollution, a networking event in Nairobi, Kenya was held and attended by 120 country representatives and practitioners on 12 November 2023. The objective of the event, organized by the PREVENT Waste Alliance, was to discuss experiences around achieving a circular economy and share lessons and trends from projects aiming at preventing and reducing plastic pollution.
WWF was invited to share lessons learned from its Plastic Smart Cities Initiative.
Huy Ho Huu (Global Plastics Policy Development Manager, WWF-Australia) presented WWF’s Plastic Smart Cities initiative, and especially the experiences and lessons learned from Plastic Smart Cities in Asia. He emphasized the importance of learning from challenges and successes on the ground for the development of a robust treaty to end plastic pollution, and highlighted the need to foster international collaboration to address the global plastic crisis.
With this event happening on the side and lead-up to INC-3, Huy took the opportunity to invite cities to support ambitious goals that are in line with the global call for a plastic treaty.
Read more about the session
Session 1: Driving Circular Solutions
Christina Jäger (Co-Founder and Managing Director, Yunus Environment Hub), Ambrose Mbuvi (Social Business Consultant Yunus Environment Hub), and Madhvi Dalal (Founder of PadMad Kenya) shared solutions developed by the PREVENT Waste Alliance to tackle challenges in the plastic value chain. Moreover, Christian Schiller (Founder & CEO, Cirplus GmbH) presented digital approaches on how to improve the quality of recyclates through digitalization.
Participants were also encouraged to be involved in the PREVENT Waste Alliance, as a global alliance that hopes to contribute to the development and successful implementation of the Global Plastics Treaty.
Session 2: Lessons and Trends in Plastic and Marine Litter Prevention
This session elaborates further on general learnings, successful initiatives, and current trends in plastic and marine litter prevention presented by PREVENT members GIZ, WWF, and IUCN.
Steffen Blume (GIZ Advisor) opened the session by presenting the study “Towards Clean Oceans: Reducing Plastic Pollution through Circular Economy – Learning Experiences of GIZ and its partners” which gives 4 key recommendations for the implementation of projects on marine litter prevention in developing countries through the successful example of practices from GIZ and its Partners. These are the following key recommendations:
- Promote stakeholder participation
- Ensure sustainable financing mechanisms along the plastic value chain
- Collect and analyze data to inform decisions, monitor progress, and adapt approaches
- Promote viable project frameworks
Still, on lessons and trends in plastic and marine litter prevention, Huy Ho Huu (Global Plastics Policy Development Manager, WWF-Australia) shared WWF’s Plastic Smart Cities Program as one of the pillars of the WWF No Plastic in Nature Initiative. Huy shared the PSC’s strong presence in Asia as well as the challenges of working on the ground with cities, coastal centers, and tourism hotspots across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean. Through PSC, WWF invites cities to commit to ambitious goals that are in line with the global call for a plastic treaty which can be accessed at https://plasticsmartcities.org/plastic-smart-cities-guides/.
Janaka de Silva (Senior Programme Coordinator at IUCN) and Joanne Norville (Science and Technology Officer, Department of Sustainable Development, St. Lucia) shared their opportunities, challenges, and lessons learned in terms of plastic policy at St. Lucia. They also presented some of the projects there.
After all of the speakers from different world regions shared their experiences and presented regional needs as well as best practices throughout the plastics lifecycle, the third session discussed the Global Action Partnership for EPR through Kenyan Case and Social Inclusion.
Session 3: The Global Action Partnership for EPR – the Kenyan Case and Social Inclusion
Peter Börkey (Circular Economy Lead, OECD) and Ambrogio Miserocchi (Policy Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation) presented the GAP for EPR, a collaboration between GIZ, WWF, and OECD which was launched on 19 October 2023. The GAP for EPR aims to create a common understanding of EPR, support countries on EPR development, as well as build a community of practice that facilitates the sharing of best practices and lessons learned. The GAP will focus on packaging and plastic products but can extend to other product categories in the future.
Furthermore, Christina Jäger (Co-Founder & Managing Director, Yunus Environment Hub) emphasized on the key requirement for a comprehensive waste collection system to shift focus from collecting materials with a positive market value to providing a service to the population. EPR is one of the key tools to shift waste collection to a service-oriented mindset.
Dr. Ayub Macharia (Director of Enforcement, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Kenya) shared Kenya’s EPR Journey. In the past, Kenya has implemented 2 voluntary EPR Schemes in 2018 without legislation. Ayub mentioned three main processes of the salient operational features of the EPR scheme in Kenya: Policy, Planning, and Implementation at the Country Level. Parties who generate waste in Kenya shall dispose of the waste to a licensed waste service, meanwhile, country governments also provide central collection for materials that can be recycled.
After that, the session was followed by a panel discussion between Dr. Ayub Macharia (Director of Enforcement, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Kenya), Priyen Tanna (Lead Technical Consultant, Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organization), and Sam Dindi (Director Training and Community Mobilization, Mazingira Yetu Organisation)
About the PREVENT Waste Alliance
Initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the PREVENT Waste Alliance was launched in May 2019. It serves as a platform for exchange and international cooperation. Organizations from the private sector, academia, civil society, and public institutions jointly engage in a circular economy. Learn more: https://prevent-waste.net/about-us