Reducing waste in East African Coastal cities and communities
The lab focuses on the rapidly growing volume of plastic waste on Kenya’s beaches (a clear sign of increased solid waste in creeks and the ocean) and Kenya’s ministerial ban of plastic bags. The goal is to reduce plastic waste in the environment, and to use this nexus between waste and Mombasa’s beautiful beaches to promote change. Reducing beach waste is a key element in improving quality of life for city residents, improving Kenya’s image as a nature-based tourist destination and addressing one of the critical ocean health challenges.
The Lab is exploring how to strengthen and extend Kenya’s plastic bag ban so that less plastic waste is released into the environment in Mombasa, more of it is collected and potentially recycled and reused, and that this transformational change extends to other types of solid (and other) waste.
The Lab bridges two SDG Goals – SDG 14 and SDG 11, to help document how well we are achieving targets 14.1 (reduce marine pollution, in particular from land-based activities and marine debris) and 11.6 (reduce the environmental impact of cities, including in municipal and other waste).
The Lab will draw participants from various stakeholders and the community centered on Mombasa’s main public beach. It will explore the innovative ideas and social change that may be needed to meet these two targets, and the type of tradeoffs involved. Different stakeholders such as community volunteer cleaners, traders, varied recycling and up-cycling companies may participate, based on the actions they can take to promote a desirable outcome, and challenges and opportunities that crop up at the site.
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