WWF reawakens calls for law on single-use plastics in Uganda

Government and members of the public have been urged to ensure reduction, recycling and reuse of plastics as one of the ways to reduce on the challenge paused on the environment.

Speaking during this year’s earth hour day held at Kisaasi Primary School in Kampala, Simon Peter Weredwong, the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) country director reawakened the call for enacting the law stopping the single use plastics in the country.

“It is high time we changed the way we treat nature so that nature can in return treat us well too. We need to add a voice to the call to enact a law that will regulate single-use plastics. It is long overdue,”Weredwong said.

“We need to speed up the law , otherwise we are continuing to destroy the gift of environment that belongs to our children.”

Weredwong said that since 2007,  the earth hour has been known for the nature hour moment, with individuals from around the globe taking individual and collective actions to reverse nature loss and protect the environment.

He noted that the globe is on course to breach by 2030 ,the 1.5°C global temperature increase limit set by the Paris Climate Agreement, and nature is also under severe threat,  facing alarming and unprecedented rates of loss globally.

“The next seven years are therefore crucial to all our futures -we have to stay under the 1.5°C climate threshold to avoid irreversible damage to our planet, and we need to reverse nature loss by 2030, ending the decade with more nature and biodiversity than we started, not less,” he noted.

“ To make this happen, individuals, communities, businesses, and governments must all urgently step up their efforts to protect and restore our one home. With this 2030 goal in mind, we too must step things up.”

The WWF country director said this year, as a way of breathing new life into the earth hour, stakeholders decided to call for planting of trees but also urge the public to desist from plastic pollution.

Kampala Minister, Hajjati Minsa Kabanda urged Ugandans, especially those living in Kampala to be part of efforts to create a sustainable and healthy city greening their surroundings and stopping pollution, specifically plastic pollution.

“KCCA is currently exploring   a ban on single-use plastic bags and a ban on single-use plastic containers for alcohol and other beverages,” she noted.

“The floods of last week and others in recent years show without a doubt that our city needs urgent measures to address some of these environment challenges, and we are doing exactly that, both in decisions and actions. Protecting our environment also means a substantial expansion of our tree planting efforts – the health of our urban forest is critically important for our quality of life and our environment.”

The National Executive Commissioner of the UgandaScouts Association, David Muledhu who represented the Scouts Commissioner, Gen Katumba Wamala applauded WWF for its efforts  to create awareness and inspire action to ensure environmental protection and recovery.

“As the world’s population approaches 8 billion, resource use intensifies, pollution and environmental degradation is ever more extensive, pervasive, and persistent. It affects our health through the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.By 2025, the world’s cities will produce 2.2 billion tonnes of waste every year, more than three times the amount produced in 2009.This simply means that if others can, then Uganda can,” Muledhu said.

He noted that it is high time this trend is reversed.

“Let us go back home today and commit to do something for nature. Let us plant trees at every opportunity.  Let us avoid the use of single use plastics. If we must use them, then ensure that you either re-use it or dispose it off responsibly.”

 

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