Kenya High Court to rule on plastic bag ban
Kenya’s High Court will today rule on whether the ban on the use, manufacture and importation of plastic carrier bags which is meant to take effect on Monday, 28 August should be suspended.
The petition which was filed on 13 July by importers, wholesalers and retailers of plastic bags seeks to have the ban quashed.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturer's (KAM) Sector Manager Samwel Matonda clarified that they are not opposed to the ban of the plastic carrier bags but rather how it was done.
"Public participation is what we have an issue with. We are not opposed to a clean environment but this ban should have been implemented after thorough consultations," he said.
The need for more time to adjust to the ban has been cited by many. The government gave six months’ notice from February 28 when it gazetted the ban.
World Plastic Company proprietor Peter Burugu urged the government to give them time to sell their stock and service their loans.
“We have employed a lot of people who rely on this work to feed their families. We also acquire huge loans so we can purchase machines to produce polythene bags and we have not cleared them,” he said.
The global economy is losing over US$120bn through single use plastics. The annual production of 300mn metric tonnes of plastic with approximately 13mn metric tonnes ending up in water bodies could see the extinction of 600 marine species.
"The government will incentivise industries, women and youth groups to produce eco-friendly alternatives to plastic carrier bags that are an eyesore to the environment," Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment said.
“My ministry takes the issue of waste management seriously.”
Whatever the High Court rules today, there will be frustration on both sides of the debate.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.