“sunlight”- shining its rays of hope on Kenya’s plastics recycling

Unilever has launched its first plastic packaging made from 100% recycled flexible materials in Nairobi, Kenya. This initiative will reduce and recycle thousands of tonnes of virgin plastic.

The fully recyclable packaging where the scouring powder “Sunlight” is Unilever’s first product so far in Kenya. The new packaging has been made available to the public in Nairobi by the Dutch-British multinational. The company’s new packaging, including the “sunlight” cleaning product, weighs 500 grams and 1 kilogram respectively. This will be accessible in Kenya and the rest of the East African sub-region.

“This is a pioneer breakthrough for the country by virtue of closing the plastic loop through collection, processing and repackaging right here in Kenya.” said Justin Apsey Unilevers East Africa CEO at the container launch.

The “sunlight” project is a part of the “U-turn waste management project” launched by Unilever in the year 2018 in Kenya. It was developed in association with waste management service provider Green Africa Trading. Keiran Smith, co-founder and CEO of Green Trading Africa quoted “It is an important step in demonstrating that it is possible to create a sustainable, inclusive, traceable and fair circular economy for plastics in emerging markets. Kenya is leading the way in thinking about this issue,”.

Kenya’s capital Nairobi produces around 2,400 tonnes of waste a day, Of this roughly 60% is collected and only around 10% recycled, Mr Green Africa said.

By 2025 the multinational Unilever desires in reducing their use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and also wants to use at least 25 per cent recycled plastic in its packaging in the next five years. This would be a step to reduce the environmental pollution associated with non-biodegradable plastics.