Pro-environment Charity keen on repurposing plastic waste 

The post-use of generated plastic waste has numerous adverse consequences on the environment if not processed and regulated properly.

Over time the impacts of plastic waste pollution on the environment have been escalated by the increased use of plastic packaging by manufacturers without a clear plan on recycling. This has left tons of plastic litter clogged in gutters, sewer systems, and dumping sites.

If the trend continues, it has been projected in about 10 years, the earth shall be trapped in a spiral of unthinkable dire effects of degradation that will gravely impact agriculture, climate and human existence. This makes plastic waste a fierce enemy of the environment.

Over the years, governments have come up with legislation to regulate the type of plastic that can be produced and how it can be recycled.

In the case of Uganda, a ban on plastic has been issued not once, not twice with the latest move coming in July 2021. The ban sought to end the manufacture and importation of polythene bags whose micron is below 30. We are yet to see the ban materialise.

A local charity, Stand Out Foundation Uganda (SOFU) is trying to solve the plastic pollution problem. The nonprofit has come up with ingenious ways to tackle the soaring trend of plastic waste pollution.

SOFU has mastered the art of repurposing plastic waste reclaimed from Lake Victoria and the Entebbe area into useful items to protect the environment and natural resources. Using bottle lids to craft household items ranging from mats to laundry baskets.

Speaking to Gateway News, SOFU projects coordinator, Alex Luyimbazi indicated that the charity has put to use over 20 tons of plastic waste in a space of 3 years in environmental friendly fashion. 

“Recycling and repurposing plastic waste is an area we should focus on as a country. Regardless of our limited resources we have been able to turn waste material into door mats, shopping bags, dust bins among other items. Our goal is not to make money but to be able to show other people that are passionate about the environment another way to fight degradation,” Luyimbazi said

“The process from collecting the waste material, cleaning to when you arrive at a finished product, is time consuming but worthwhile. Through this we have been able to impact lives of people in the community especially the women. The skills they have acquired here can be used to sustain them and their families.” Luyimbazi added

However, Luyimbazi maintains that the damage has already been done and it’s time to focus on how to remedy the situation. He argues that it requires concerted endeavors as a global village to move forward. 

Luyimbazi believes that with the required funding, technology and refinement, SOFU can be able to unlock potential to recycle and repurpose more plastic waste, indulge stakeholders and key players world over making their way of fighting environmental degradation more impactful.

“With the right technology and funding we can be able to do more and make our voices heard. The impact would be tremendous. And who knows how much we shall have contributed to the struggle against climate change and environmental degradation.” Luyimbazi intimated

“We hope to roll out plastic waste collection points in public spaces such as beaches, parks and malls to encourage proper disposal amongst communities.” Luyimbazi revealed

According to a 2021 report by Global Livingston Institute, Uganda consumes an enormous 600 metric tons of plastic on a daily and only 6% of this is collected and recycled.

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