The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has launched a nationwide campaign called Yonja Uganda that enables producers of plastic products to buy back used plastics to ensure environmental protection.
According to NEMA, all producers of plastics are to establish an extended producer responsibility mechanism to buy back the plastics across the country so that they can be repurposed, reused, and recycled.
NEMA’s Executive Director, Dr. Barirega Akankwasah, added that, unfortunately, less than 10 percent of this waste is collected and recycled. The rest ends up being burned in landfills and the environment, including water bodies. This situation presents a significant environmental challenge for Uganda.
“If they don’t comply, we have no option but to stop production since the law requires the mandatory labouring of plastics and a buyback system,” Akankwasah said
The National Environment Management Authority started out the anti-litter and waste management campaign at the Lukaya road toll market in Kalungu district.
The campaign is intended to sensitise the public against littering, waste, and plastics to protect the environment.
Uganda has been experiencing floods in the past few weeks, and plastics have been partly blamed for them. The indiscriminate disposal of plastic has led to clogged drainage systems, worsening the risk of flooding during rainy seasons. Additionally, wildlife, both on land and in water, suffers dire consequences as they become entangled in plastic debris or mistake it for food, leading to injury, starvation, and death.
NEMA urges all producers to adhere to the new system to ensure environmental protection.