Plastic pollution has become a serious environmental problem worldwide, and Kenya is no exception. The country has been facing a severe plastic waste crisis for many years now. Plastic waste has infiltrated various ecosystems, including oceans, rivers, and wildlife habitats. The situation is dire, and concerted efforts are needed to tackle this menace.

Kenya is one of the countries in Africa that has been worst hit by plastic pollution. The country has struggled with plastic waste for decades, and the situation has worsened in recent years. A significant portion of the plastic waste in Kenya is from single-use plastic products such as straws, plastic bags, and bottles. These products are widely used in the country, and their disposal is a significant problem. Most of the plastic waste is not recycled, and it ends up in landfills or pollutes the environment.

The plastic waste problem has severe consequences for the environment and human health. The waste clogs rivers and waterways, leading to flooding and the destruction of habitats for aquatic life. It also affects the quality of air, water, and soil, leading to health problems for humans and wildlife. Plastic waste is also a significant contributor to climate change, as it releases harmful greenhouse gases when incinerated.

In response to the plastic pollution crisis, organized groups and individuals have taken up the mantle to reduce plastic waste. These groups include civil society organizations and private-sector players. One such organization is our own Green Earth Initiative. We are committed to creating a cleaner and healthier environment in Kenya. The Green earth Initiative has initiated a campaign to clean up different spaces in the public and other areas where littering is prevalent. Through our efforts, we have been able to remove a lot of plastic waste from these areas, thereby improving the quality of the environment.

Additionally, the Green Earth Initiative has installed bins through working closely with partners and well-wishers in different spaces to encourage responsible waste disposal. These bins serve as a reminder to people to dispose of their waste responsibly and avoid littering. By providing proper disposal facilities, Green Earth Initiative is reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or pollutes the environment. The efforts of GEI have yielded positive results, and we have received positive feedback from members of the communities.

Various multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Kenya Plastic Action Plan, have been established with the aim of promoting sustainable waste management practices and reducing plastic pollution in the country. The private sector-led Policy and Action Plan seek to facilitate the transition to a circular economy that promotes environmentally sustainable use and recycling of plastics in Kenya. These platforms bring together stakeholders from the government, civil society, and the private sector to collaborate towards a shared goal of reducing plastic pollution.

Individuals also play a significant role in reducing plastic pollution in Kenya. Through various initiatives, individuals are educating their communities about the dangers of plastic waste and promoting sustainable waste management practices. One such initiative is the 'Mazingira Challenge,' a campaign that encourages individuals to clean up their neighborhoods and dispose of waste responsibly. The initiative has gained widespread support, with thousands of Kenyans taking part in cleaning up their surroundings.

Another initiative that has gained popularity in Kenya is the use of reusable bags. In 2017, Kenya implemented one of the world's most comprehensive bans on plastic bags. The ban on plastic bags has seen the increased use of reusable bags, reducing the amount of plastic waste in the country significantly.

In conclusion, plastic pollution is a severe problem in Kenya, and concerted efforts are needed to address the issue. Organized groups and individuals have a critical role to play in reducing plastic waste in the country. Through sustainable waste management practices, education, and the use of reusable bags, we can reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the environment. It's time for everyone to take responsibility for the plastic waste problem and work towards a cleaner and healthier environment for all.

About the Author: Steve Omondi Orowo is a dedicated Kenyan social service worker residing in Kisumu County. He currently works with Keeping Alive Societies' Hope (KASH), an NGO focused on health and human rights for marginalized communities. Steve is known for his enthusiasm, self-motivation, and adaptability, making him a reliable team player who excels under pressure. He is also a climate activist, certified by the National AIDs and STIs Control Programme (NASCOP), and an active member of the Kenya budget network. His passion lies in environmental conservation and climate advocacy, with a mission to educate and inspire change in children, youth, and communities.