An investigation into the practices of social responsibility among polythene manufacturers in Kenya
Tirfie, Helina A
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Business practices have changed tremendously over the years. The focus is no longer profit maximization. Contemporary business practices call for increased attention on societal and environmental aspect. Managers of today are striving to change their outlook by focusing more on factors that directly or indirectly affect operations hence, paving the way for long-term profit maximization. The concept social responsibility came as a result of these changes. The study was designed to investigate the social responsibility practices among Polythene manufacturers in Kenya. There are 32 Polythene manufacturers in Kenya which comprised the population. A census study was conducted. Primary data formed the basis for this research and was collected through personal interviews and structured questionnaires. The results have shown that even though the manufacturers are well aware of the concept of social responsibility that has not led to the implementation of the same. This is mainly because of the prohibitive costs associated with it. Training and employment opportunities, and transport provision have been undertaken to certain degree with the aim of maximization of profit. .But with regard to the environment not much has been done. Government should playa major role in order to minimize the effects Polythene products have on the e,nvironment by giving incentives for the manufacturers making investment somehow easy. Manufacturers also have a role to play by educating users to the right disposal methods, finding alternative suitable for making bags and packaging material at competitive rate and convenience without having any negative aspect. Lastly, we should learn from best practices in other countries by adopting practices to our local settling. For example in India, due to widespread awareness drive by NGO's and government and to lesser extent by educational institutions has resulted in increasing consciousness among few shopkeepers they have shifted back to the old system of wrapping up goods in paper bags or newspapers, some people - are slowly getting habituated to going to the market with cloth bags. Besides a few NGO's, even school students have come forward to take up a promotion campaign for the use of paper or cloth bags. It has also been suggested rather than spending on anti-plastic campaign, the authorities should gear up its machinery for effective waste management and disposal of plastic.