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Kenya Bans Import of Used Electronic Gadgets

The Kenyan government announced its decision to ban imports of second hand electronic gadgets into the country, effective January next year. The move is aimed at saving Kenya from becoming a dumping yard for e-waste from developed countries. In addition, the government urged its citizens to ensure responsible disposal of electronic waste.

Consequently, importers and sellers will now become responsible for the e-waste. The deposit return scheme will add a deposit to non-biodegradable equipment during their sale, which will be refunded to customers while returning the product or buying a new one in exchange of the old gadget. Meantime, the move is likely to impact businesses, as they will be forced to sell new electronics.

According to Ayub Macharia, Director of Environmental Education, the import ban on old electronic gadgets will be included in the Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations. The government wants to put strict regulations in place to deter import of obsolete electronics, primarily from developed countries of the world, Macharia added. He was speaking at the Utawala WEEE Centre, as part of celebrations of International E-Waste Day.

Estimates suggest that Kenya generates over 44,000 tonnes of e-waste every year, a figure which is likely to go up due to Kenya’s lack of adequate framework to capture the data. More surprisingly, only around 300 tonnes of e-waste is collected for recycling in the country.

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