Chinese firm opens $45m recycling plant in Kenya

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A CHINESE firm opened a $45 million plastic waste recycling plant in eastern Kenya on Monday to help curb environmental degradation.

Weeco Recycling Company, which will be processing 2,000 tonnes of PET bottles every month and recycle them into pellets and polyester fibre, announced on Monday the establishment of two plants in the east African country.

In addition to the plant in Athi River town, in eastern Kenya, Weeco will set up another one in Mombasa in the coastal region.

‘We have entered into the Kenyan market to provide a lasting solution to the challenge posed by post-consumer PET bottles,’ Weeco Recycling Company director Wang Zhangyin said during the signing of the deal in Athi River, about 30 km east of Nairobi.

Wang said the plants will improve the living standards for the collectors and suppliers of PET bottles every month, adding that pellets produced will be exported to Weeco’s parent company in China to make polyester fiber.

Weeco also signed a partnership deal with Kenya PET Recycling Company Ltd (PETCO Kenya), an industry body mandated to regulate the management of post-consumer PET packaging in the country.

John Waithaka, chairman of PETCO Kenya, welcomed the partnership, saying Weeco’s move to carry out recycling of PET bottles is in line with the PETCO’s strategic plan since the world faces the challenge of 8 million tonnes of plastics finding their way into the oceans every year.

Waithaka said the company has also identified other recycling partners to be able to achieve the 2019 target of recycling 5,900 tonnes or 247 million bottles.

‘PETCO will provide a price subsidy of 5 shillings (0.05 dollars) per kg of PET bottles collected and recycled by Weeco, over and above the current purchasing price,’ he said.

‘We have plans to perform a national call to action for the collection of PET bottles, consumer awareness activities such as rolling-out of designated drop-off sites in various counties in conjunction with our partners,’ Waithaka added.

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