Did you know that plastic pollution kills more people than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined?

We feel happy about the environment but this is when it is friendly to us. This however, may not continue because of how we have continued harming the nature through our irresponsible and thoughtless behavior such as the indiscriminate use of plastics and uncontrolled disposal of the plastic bottles. Such careless behavior is one of the major causes of environmental degradation in the world today and in turn it degrades our life.

The worrying situation in Uganda is the statistics on plastic pollution. It is estimated that at least 600 tonnes of plastics are consumed every day in Uganda and all these bottles are disposed off irresponsibly. What is observed is that the plastic bottles are disposed off in our water bodies like rivers and lakes something that threatens the marine life. Examples of such bottles could be the water and soda bottles and other several packing materials.

Plastics are artificially made of toxic chemicals and when they are badly disposed of groundwater and reservoirs are susceptible to leaking environmental toxins.

Quality of fish from our lakes and rivers will become bad or even poisonous, thus causing danger to human lives. It is a death threat to several communities that rely on fishing industry for financial survival and for regular balanced diet.

They are also left in our rural areas, gardens and wetlands uncollected causing serious threat to agriculture, water and soil pollution. This has therefore left soil infertile and can no longer support the growth of crops.

When plastic is burned, they emit toxic chemicals causing respiratory problems. Uganda does not have any serious environment laws on burning plastics and the existing laws are never enforced.

Some years to come , it will cost millions of dollars to clean up the polluted land, water and air, not forgetting the health problems they could have caused in those years. Excessive pollution will drastically affect the tourism industry, thus causing loss of millions of dollars to Uganda.

For our local town like Kasese, the plastic challenge is likely to hit us most basing on the increasing carelessly disposed of plastic. People are seen throwing bottles on streets and roads littered with plastic. This is because there is no byelaws on plastic use in place and the would be laws by the government are not enforced and therefore no one cares. However, the possibility of the public not knowing the negative impacts of plastic on human life is high as there is no efforts to sensitize the masses on such. Also the population still doesn’t know the positive side of the wasted plastic once it is collected and put to use.

It is against this back ground, that Rural Focus Initiative Uganda(RuFI Uganda) is leading a campaign KEEP PLASTIC FOR THE NEXT USE that aims at putting back wasted plastic to use through collecting the plastic and make new products out of it such as plastic seats, bags, and building materials but above all saving the environment from the unnecessary destruction by the irresponsible members of the community.

The campaign will majorly target the general community especially women by sensitizing them on this global challenge. Also training the community how to make finished products out of wasted plastic. By doing this, we believe the community will appreciate the environment and live responsible lives especially the way they deal with wasted plastic after use.