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“Engage Gear hits to Stop Further Plastic Pollution in Uganda”, WWF urges

WWF in Uganda has called for acceleration of the market for reusable products, to transform the throwaway economy to a reuse society.

The remarks were made by WWF Uganda Country Director Ivan Tumuhimbise, while addressing journalists at the World Environment Day Commemoration in Kampala.

Ivan further explained that   creating an enabling environment will ensure that the reuse market has a stronger business case than the single-use plastics market.

“Studies show that reuse systems provide the highest opportunity to reduce plastic pollution by replacing some of the most problematic and unnecessary products”, he added.

World environment Day was commemorated on 5th June under the theme, Stop Plastic Pollution. The event was held at Kololo independence grounds and was officiated by the President of the republic of Uganda, represented by the Prime Minister of Uganda.  It was attended by over three thousand stakeholders.

According to the Executive Director of the National Environment Management Authority, Uganda as a Country 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.  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.

“As a consequence of plastic pollution, we see 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”, he elaborated.

WWF’s Ivan called for acceleration of the market for plastics recycling by ensuring that recycling becomes a more stable and profitable venture as it has the capacity to reduce the amount of plastic pollution by an additional 20 per cent by 2040.

The President called on all actors to reflect on the relationship we have with nature.
“As we commemorate World Environment Day, we must reflect on our relationship with nature and the planet” read part of his statement.
He added that the planet has been plunged into a crisis of unprecedented biodiversity loss, increasing climate change and high levels of pollution.
 “Global forest area decreased by 178 million hectares between 1990 and 2020. Commercial agriculture destroyed 40 percent of tropical forests between 2000 and 2010, and local subsistence agriculture decimated 33 percent of global forest cover in the same period”, he expounded.

He commended government agencies and WWF for the efforts to restore nature which have realized   the curve turn to positive growth trajectory. The forest cover has now improved from 9.5% in 2015 to 13.3% today.
He urged all players to put the same effort in the fight against plastic pollution.

During the same event, WWF received an award from government in recognition for her Advocacy, funding and Nature restoration in the country.
© Happy Ali
WWF Country Director in Uganda Ivan Tumuhimbise receives an award from the Minister of Water and Environment in recognition of WWF's contribution to conservation in Uganda