Selection, Design, and Implementation of Economic Instruments in the Solid Waste Management Sector in Kenya: The Case of Plastic Bags

United Nations Environment Programme (2005)

The generation of solid waste has become an increasing environmental and public health problem everywhere in the world, but particularly in developing countries. The fast expansion of urban, agricultural and industrial activities spurred by rapid population growth has produced vast amounts of solid and liquid wastes that pollute the environment and destroy resources. The management of solid waste is often weak due to lack of appropriate planning, inadequate governance, poor technology, weak enforcement of existing legislation and the absence of economic and fiscal incentives to promote environmentally sound development. The Government of Kenya has currently prioritised solid waste management as a pressing issue and recognizes the value and importance of integrating environmental and development objectives into the decision-making process. The importance of this subsector has been identified in various policy and legislative documents. The use of appropriate economic instruments (EIs) can help to achieve sustainable development by providing the means of internalising environmental degradation and resource depletion costs into the production and consumption process. Economic instruments can work harmoniously with traditional regulatory mechanisms as well as help to provide the necessary funds for supporting sound environmental management initiatives such as recycling and waste disposal facilities.