The Deputy National Coordinator Operation Wealth Creation, Lt Gen Charles Angina, has revealed that 300 companies in Uganda have complied with the Presidential directive to recycle plastic waste.
“When we talk of waste and plastics management, Uganda is not doing well. We need to be a good example to other countries so that they can learn best practices from us,” said Angina.
MPs on the Committee on Natural Resources noted that there was an influx of plastic wrappings and bags in which imported products like foods, clothes and beverages are brought into the country.
“We are talking about a ban on the importation and manufacturing of plastic material especially the kavera but how best can we deal with polyethenes that come with imported products,” asked Hon. Herbert Ariko (FDC, Soroti Municipality).
Dodoth East MP, Hon. Samson Lokeris, advised that Government should create a distinction between plastics that can be recycled locally and those that should be banned in a bid to check on the delay to institute a polyethene free country.
“The capacity to collect and recycle plastics in rural areas is still low yet they are some of the biggest users of the polyethene bags. We need to increase their capacity and also check on importation of plastic chairs and crates,” said Hon. Lokeris.
The Committee Chairperson, Hon. Keefa Kiwanuka (NRM, Kiboga East), inquired as to why the ban on plastics, especially kavera, had failed to be implemented, to which Lt. Gen. Angina attributed to harmonization of ministries.
“The Environment Ministry wants a ban on kaveera but the Trade Ministry wants the plastics to be recycled for value addition; so the lack of a unified position has stalled the implementation of the ban,” said Angina.
He also said that the position of Cabinet on the matter is not to execute a total ban on plastics but rather ensure that every manufacturing company has a recycling station to deal with plastics that can be re-used.
“We also need to sensitize our people on how best to manage and recycle plastics as well as teach them the monetary value of this process,” added Lt. Gen. Angina.
The MPs asked the Operation Wealth Creation team to furnish the committee with a list of plastic material that can be recycled and that which cannot be recycled so as to be able to follow up appropriate waste management of plastics in the country.