Oil industry lobbying to dump plastics in Kenya

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 08:25 am

The oil industry has asked the United States to pressure Kenya to change its world-leading stance against the plastic waste that litters Africa, according to environmentalists who fear the continent will be used as a dumping ground.

The request from the American Chemistry Council, whose members include major oil companies, to the Office of the United States Trade Representative came as the US and Kenya negotiate what would be the first US bilateral trade deal with a country in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kenya three years ago imposed what was praised as the world’s strictest ban on the use, manufacturing and import of plastic bags, part of growing efforts around the world to limit a major source of plastic waste.

Environmentalists fear Kenya is now under pressure not only to weaken its resolve, but to become a key transit point for plastic waste to other African countries.