RSCE Pledges to Reduce Plastic Pollution at the Centre

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9 Jun 2023

RSCE Pledges to Reduce Plastic Pollution at the Centre

Mark Kaheru

“Moving forward, we need to do some self-reflection on how much plastic we are individually contributing to our environment. Say no to using plastic straws. Carry your own reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go, have a designated reusable and preferrable cloth bag with you every time you visit the market or shops, carry a coffee mug with you to get your refill instead of having a disposable one offered next time you go to the cafeteria.” Nalini Contreras, Deputy Director a.i. Regional Service Centre Entebbe (RSCE)

Ms. Contreras called on staff at the RSCE to join in the global call to #BeatPlastiCPollution during the World Environment Day celebrations held on 8 June.

The theme for 2023 focusses on solutions to beat plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution.

Statistics show that every year, the world produces more than 400 million tons of plastic and yet half are designed to be used only once. According to statistics from Uganda’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) the country generates 600 tons of plastics daily but only 40% is collected and disposed of properly.

There is some hope however, in the field of plastic recycling.

EcoBrixs, an organization based in Masaka District of Uganda, is actively involved in the effort to beat plastic pollution. The organization works with the local community to collect plastics and sell to them and in turn they turn the plastic waste into useful everyday items like buttons, clothes pegs and even structural beams for construction.

Speaking at the event, Dan Kayemba gave a brief history of plastic and took the RSCE staff through the EcoBrixs journey to clean the environment of plastic waste. EcoBrixs circular system, based on the idea of purchasing plastic from the community and recycling all waste into new products, allows them to recycle huge volumes of plastic and create thousands of green jobs for the community.

Since 2017, EcoBrixs has recycled 1,000 tonnes of plastic waste that they have collected from the community and from Lake Victoria.

Representatives from The AIDS Support Organization TASO Entebbe also made a presentation on how they are reusing plastics to make items like flowerpots in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.

During the event, staff were taken through a dance expression presentation by Theresa Aciro on the proper disposal of waste with an emphasis on waste segregation bins and staff joined into a sing-along led by Eusmenio Dos Santos on the Guitar.

Micah Emeru, Environment Focal Point at the RSCE encouraged staff to make a commitment to the environment with an emphasis on the theme “We at the RSCE, live and work in Uganda, a country rich with plant, marine and animal wildlife. We need to ask ourselves “how are we contributing to the preservation of our world? How are we preparing our world for the next generations to come?”

Led by Ms. Contreras and the representatives from EcoBrixs, staff also signed a commitment board where they made a pledge to beat plastic pollution by reducing their use of single-use plastics.