Official of Kenyan Association of Catholic Nuns Cautions against “plastic pollution”

Sr. Mercy Mwayi, the Program Manager of the Sisters’ Led Youth Empowerment Initiative (SLYI), a program of the Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK). Credit: Capuchin TV

The Program Manager of the Sisters’ Led Youth Empowerment Initiative (SLYI), a program of the Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK), has cautioned against “plastic pollution” and appealed for joint efforts to address the challenge. 

Sr. Mercy Mwayi who was speaking at the Friday, June 9 event in Nairobi to mark World Environment Day said, “Our earth is being choked by so many plastics.”

“It is the role of each one of us to ensure that we end this plastic pollution,” Sr. Mwayi during the event that was held at St. John the Baptist Rituta Catholic Parish of the Archdiocese of Nairobi.

Speaking at the same event, an official of the  Danish Refugee Council (DRC) highlighted some of the dangers of increased plastic pollution.

“By 2050, there will be more plastic bottles in the ocean than the fish if we don’t take action now,” Maurice Onzere said.


Mr. Onzere who is the Project Manager of the Fair Recycling at DRC added, “Because of plastic pollution and other environmental challenges, ocean water levels are rising. We will not have Mombasa as an island if we do not take action.”

He called upon all people to take action against plastic pollution by recycling, reusing, and reducing the use of plastics.

He underscored the value of getting rid of plastic waste in the environment, saying they take “over 400 years, to decompose”.

One of the ways of reducing plastic pollution is by using the waste materials for agricultural purposes, Mr. Onzere further said, and added, “Plastic containers can be used for planting trees.”

There is need to “change our habits, lifestyle, and mindset” concerning environmental conservation, the DRC official further said, adding that garbage collectors need to be appreciated instead of looking at them as hopeless outcasts and “street urchins”.

More in Africa

“Waste picking is a noble job and is a noble income-generating activity,” Mr. Onzere said, and explained, “In the whole world, 61 percent of waste is managed by individual waste pickers. In Nairobi, 30 percent of our waste is managed by the same people we see as street urchins.” 

Mr. Onzere also emphasized the need to practice afforestation, saying, “We need to plant trees for them to help inject oxygen for our use and for the earth to be balanced.”

“We can embrace the policy one man, one event, one tree,” he said during the June 9 event, and added, “Celebrate events by planting trees.”

ACI Africa was founded in 2019. We provide free, up-to-the-minute news affecting the Catholic Church in Africa, giving particular emphasis to the words of the Holy Father and happenings of the Holy See, to any person with access to the internet. ACI Africa is proud to offer free access to its news items to Catholic dioceses, parishes, and websites, in order to increase awareness of the activities of the universal Church and to foster a sense of Catholic thought and culture in the life of every Catholic.