The war against plastics got a major boost on Friday after a hotelier promised to reduce use plastic water bottles.

 

PrideInn Hotel said all its eight hotels in Mombasa and Nairobi will reduce plastic water bottle from March 1.

“The bold commitment is our drive to do our part in reducing plastic pollution especially in the ocean. This is our first step in our Going Green Initiative," PrideInn group managing director Hasnain Noorani said.

The hotel will in mid February launch a campaign "Eliminate Plastics" to encourage conference delegates and holiday makers to use water from dispensers rather than the bottled product.

"It will also put emphasis on collecting plastics along the beach, supporting plastic collectors, creating awareness to plastic end users," Norani said.

The hotel said the decision builds on the momentum of climate action from the 2018 Conference of Parties, (COP24) in Poland and the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi that took place last year.

Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced globally since the early 1950s.

About 60 per cent has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment.

Scientists have repeatedly warned that failure to act will see more plastics in water bodies than fish by 2050.

“Plastics are killing sea creatures in the Indian Ocean and are an environmental hazard, because plastics find their way deep into the ocean killing many iconic species such as turtles, sharks and whales. This is why we want to sensitise our customers and Kenyans to reduce the use of plastic bottles," Noorani said.

More than 99 per cent of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas and coal — all of which are dirty, non-renewable resources.

“We’re seeing some other worrying trends. The rate of plastic production is growing faster than that of any other material. We’ve also seen a shift away from the production of re-usable plastic towards plastics that are meant to be thrown away after a single use”, said Mr. Noorani.

Globally, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once — and then thrown away.

Plastic waste is now so ubiquitous in the natural environment that scientists have even suggested it could serve as a geological indicator of the Anthropocene era.

The ban on plastics in Kenya came into effect August 28, 2017.

The general penalty spelt out under the Environment Manufacturers and Co-ordination Act for those found culpable is a jail term no shorter than one year or a fine of not less than Sh2 million.

But the law provides for a maximum fine of Sh4 million or a four-year jail term.

The ban applies to the use, manufacture, and importation of plastics.