Nairobi Workshop on Circular Solutions to Ocean Plastic Pollution

23/01/2024 News

The European Investment Bank (EIB) convened the Circular Solutions to Ocean Plastic Pollution workshop, to showcase innovative ideas to reduce marine plastic pollution. The event took place on 8 November 2023, as a side event to the World Circular Economy Forum in Nairobi. The delegates included Clean Oceans Project Identification and Preparation (COPIP), government representatives, private sector representatives, non-governmental organisations and academia. The event covered issues which influence solid waste management in sub-Saharan Africa, from institutional and policy set-up to financing, with a particular focus on ocean plastic. Two key projects under COPIP were featured, namely the Mombasa Solid Waste Circular Economy project (Kenya) and Towards Zero Waste Model Town Tanga City (Tanzania). They were highlighted alongside two pilot projects – the TakaConnect App by Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute and a project involving source separation implemented by WWF Kenya.

A consortium comprising Tetra Tech International Development and Egis identified project ideas in over 20 countries with eight project pre-feasibility studies. The experiences shared from COPIP projects revealed crucial lessons for the successful implementation of infrastructure projects on solid waste in sub-Saharan Africa, such as alignment with local context, donor coordination, inclusive stakeholder involvement and capacity building and awareness.

Edward Claessen, the Head of EIB Nairobi affirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting developing countries to prepare and implement long-term solutions to manage plastic waste and municipal solid waste. Equally, Hon. Francis Thoya, the Deputy Governor of Mombasa County Government highlighted that the transition from linear to circular solutions in waste management is a timely intervention and the administration has put adequate measures to attract investments in the sector. COPIP’s solid waste expert, Eva Roben, reiterated that proper management of municipal solid waste, including plastic waste, is an unexploited sector that could greatly increase revenue sources for the municipalities, young people and women.

The workshop was a valuable platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration among stakeholders in the waste management sector. COPIP project ideas and related initiatives offered a roadmap for the transition from linear to circular economy solutions, fostering sustainable waste management and promoting a healthier marine ecosystem. As the world continues to experience the challenges of plastic pollution, EIB through a consortium of Tetra Tech and Egis, is shaping a more sustainable and circular future.

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