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WWF Calls for an Integrated Approach to Address Plastic Pollution

WWF in Uganda through The Natural Forest Regeneration for Enhanced Carbon Absorption in the Albertine Rift (FRECAR) project together with Kibaale District Local Government Commemorated World Environment Day on 14th July 2023 with a call to all actors to take action against plastic pollution and its associated effects on land. The event was held at St Jude Primary school in Kibaale District.

Dina Nabaweesi, the FRECAR project officer explains that plastics hinder water percolation into the soil there by reducing soil productivity.

“Microplastics can further interact with soil fauna, affecting their health and functions. Earthworms, for example, make their burrows differently when microplastics are present in the soil, affecting the earthworm’s fitness and the soil condition.” This can further damage the rest of the environment by reducing forest flora that are dependent on earthworms”, she elaborated.
The Member of Parliament for Kibaale, who was also the chief guest called on all actors to deliberately eliminate single use plastics in their day to day life.

“As parliament works on a legislation to Ban some of these problematic plastic products, we must change our behavior to be ready to embrace that legislative decision”, he appealed.

According to the National Environment Management Authority,  Uganda has  produced over 12,330 metric tons of PET plastics since 2018. In Kampala Metropolitan Area, 135,804 tons of plastic waste are generated per year. Of this, 42% is uncollected, 15% collected through the value chain approach and 43% collected by the service providers. 6 About 21,728T of plastics is burned and 47,457T is landfilled/dumped, 27,160T is retained on land and 13,580T finds its way into water systems. NEMA also affirms that as a consequence, of plastic pollution, the country is seeing  increased unexplained cancers, floods, poor water quality, poor air quality, decreased soil fertility, siltation of waterbodies, death of livestock, fish and wildlife through ingestion and entanglement and above all, enhanced greenhouse gas emissions.

At WWF in Uganda, we are  calling for an   integrated approach, which accounts for the interconnectedness of both technical and natural systems, a “one planet perspective.” This is an approach that resonates particularly closely with the current strategy of WWF, No Plastic in Nature, and focuses additionally on outlining better choices for managing, using, and sharing the natural resources within our planet’s limits — to ensure food, water, and energy security for all.

The event was marked by planting trees and an exhibition that showcased how we can attain No plastic in nature by reducing, re-using and recycling plastics.

World Environment Day (5th June) was declared to be celebrated globally to raise awareness about environment conservation and sustainability during the United nations conference on human environment. The theme for this year was, “Solutions to plastic pollution.
© Happy Ali
Demonstration of how to re-use plastics as a way of tackling plastic pollution in Uganda.