The newly appointed Minister of State for Environment, Hon. Beatrice Anywar has called upon the general public to take immediate action against plastic and kaveera pollution.
Anywar while addressing the media during the earth hour march against plastic said the country should move to act very seriously even after the government put a ban against use of polythene below 30 microns that hasn’t run smoothly.
“We should act very seriously as a country, Parliament already put a ban to use of plastic of 30 microns and below, it’s been a while since it was implemented but we’ve seen it’s not working for us.”
“We have alternatives to plastic usage which people should embrace like the use of paper bags, banana leaves, degradable carrier bags but the bigger challenge is that we need to have the mindset of Ugandans, if they can refrain from using kaveera and also effectively manage solid waste.” Anywar noted.
She also noted that all East African community counties have a total ban on kaveera usage but Uganda has remained a dumping ground, “We should prepare ourselves psychologically, physically and economically to do without kaveeras and do with alternative plastic. We look forward to giving a timeline to the public against using the kaveeras in the market and sensitising them to use the existing plastic bags, empowering NEMA to to put in place the ban which has been effected in Parliament.”
“You find big shots in the government also throwing away plastics anyhowly, if you can’t re-use it. Reuse the plastic bottles you have. That way, we shall reduce on the plastic waste that ends up in our environment.” Anywar stressed.
Every year, an estimated 40,000 metric tons of plastic enter our wetlands. Plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade, it’s projected that by 2050, the total amount of plastic waste in the wetlands will weigh more than all fish and other marine life.
In 2010, Government passed the ban against kaveera but it’s enforcement has been lacking. The chief guest during the earth hour march, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga the speaker of Parliament of Uganda urged the young generation to mind about the environment they live in and protect it from plastic pollution.
“Today we’ve got our children who should grow up in a better society with and be able to assist us in implementing our laws, and grow up aware of the dangers of plastic, and ensure we have the right disposal methods and right items to use.”
The earth hour walk brought together environmentalists who braved and walked 4 kms from Kampala city square to create awareness of the dangers of using plastic and kaveera.
The country director of World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) David Duli said that walking is a symbolic campaign to raise awareness to people.
“This year our campaign is about plastic which has a very negative impact to our environment. We use it everyday but we need to regulate it. We will continue with this campaign starting from schools to create awareness to the young generation and encouraging the use of degradable plastics.”