BY PHILIP WAFULA
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Executive Director, Dr Barirega Akankwasa, says a bill is in the offing to amend the law on polythene and completely ban its use in the country.
The current law (National Environment Act) only bans the use of polythene below 30 microns which, according to Dr Akankwasa, doesn’t address other polythene material, including those above 30 microns or which lack manufacturers’ marks among others.
Dr Akankwasa adds that Rwanda and Kenya have completely banned polythene and Uganda is the only country in the East African Community (EAC) still using it.
He says polythene is harmful, spoils soil nutrients, clogs water channels, and kills aquaculture.
Dr Akankwasa says his organisation has partnered with Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) to solicit investors who can manufacture alternatives for banned polythene, including paper bags and cloth bags.
Meanwhile, the Kamuli District Environment Officer, Sam Bakaki, says the ban comes at the right time and prays there is both political will backed up with strong enforcement as the population increases.
He further explained that polythene is non-biodegradable and a problem in all rural and urban trading centres.