Managing plastic waste in urban Kenya: niche innovations in production and recycling

L.O. Ombis

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The problems with plastic waste in Kenyan cities are increasing to alarming levels. Especially disposable packaging made of very light plastic materials continues to burden the environment as well as compromise management capacities for waste by city authorities. In light of this, major cities of Kenya have in the last two decades registered participation of formal and informal private actors with strategies to curtail the flow of plastic waste to the environment. This study argues that such strategies can be referred to as ‘innovations’withthe potential totransform the plasticwaste scenario in Kenya and further foster an integrative regime between solid waste management and plastic production systems for plastic waste management. Strategic niche management and Multi-level perspective on socio-technical transitions that bases the success of an innovation on its actor networks, convergence of expectations and learning processes have been useful in the analysis of performance of the innovations. In-depth case studies on innovations in plastic waste management, plastic waste recycling and plastic prevention illustrate how and to what extent such innovations are able to transform the stultifying environmental condition and further become the foundation for developing an integrated regime for plastic waste management.




Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Mol, Arthur, Promotor
  • van Vliet, Bas, Co-promotor
Award date11 Dec 2012
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789461733771
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2012


  • waste management
  • urban areas
  • kenya
  • developing countries
  • east africa
  • africa
  • innovations


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