President Yoweri Museveni has commissioned Acacia Foundation Limited, a Shs20 billion plastic recycling plant located in Matugga, Wakiso District. The plant is the first in the country and the largest in the East African region.
The plastic recycling factory currently recycles 20 metric tons of plastics daily and is set to expand and process 100 tons daily in the coming six months.
The factory which employs more than 400 staff directly and thousands of other Ugandans indirectly, produces large quantities of plastics that are used by local industries for packaging while others are exported to the region.
The president specifically commended the proprietor of Acacia Foundation Limited Tony Nie Hao for contributing to solving the packaging solutions in the country while also helping to protect the environment by turning plastic wastes that would otherwise be harmful to the environment especially the soils and water bodies into a usable and economically viable product.
‘’The Europeans brought glass but it was both heavy and fragile but plastics are not. If the National Bureau of Standards has ascertained that plastics are safe health-wise with the advantages of being light and durable then you are a miracle to our economy,’’ Museveni said.
The president asked Acacia Foundation Limited to expand their production and go to as many cities in Uganda noting that both demands for plastics as well as plastic waste raw materials are in abundance.
He asked Ugandans to take advantage of the factory and supply them with plastic waste which he said does not decompose easily and as a result is a danger to the environment, especially the soils.
President Museveni further commended the proprietor(s) of Acacia Foundation for choosing to invest in Uganda which has generated jobs for the youth and reminded citizens that one of the surest ways of solving unemployment in the country by the National Resistance Movement was through attracting industrial investment that can generate jobs at a large scale.
He however said that modernizing agriculture from subsistence to commercial farming had more solutions for unemployment in Uganda than any other sector.
The president also pledged government support to the plastic recycling plant given its unique nature and being the pioneer in the country.
The State Minister for finance in charge of investment, Evelyn Anite assured the President that her ministry has successfully gotten rid of the record of corruption in the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and that as a result, the authority is currently serving investors efficiently.
She added that the Uganda National Bureau of Standards had certified the quality of the plastic products produced by Acacia Foundation that match international standards, something that has enabled them to sell their products beyond the Ugandan market.
Hao the founder of Acacia Foundation said although plastics are seen as a problem in the world because they are not environmentally friendly, alternatives such as glass and paper are expensive and not durable.
He said that Uganda produces 650 metric tons of plastics daily and if not recycled and put to good use, they are a danger to the country’s environment.
He reported that because of the good quality plastic products that his company produce, they are the main suppliers of big local companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola and also export to Tanzania, Burundi, DRC and South Sudan.