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Birds in Uganda are also dying of plastics.

Ban plastic bags in Uganda

Green Climate Campaigner

My name is Namugerwa Leah.

I am 14 years old.

I am a climate activist and a Green Climate Campaigner.

I am demanding President Museveni’s government to ban plastic bags in Uganda. Here is my hashtag for this campaign; #BanPlasticUG

Here are my reasons why I need an immediate ban of plastic bags in my country;

Currently, the world consumes over 500 billion plastic bags every year

When burnt, plastics create dioxin like poisonous materials which cause cancer, skin diseases, endocrinal damage, hormone disruption, hypertension and diabetes, and affect human fertility

The cadmium used in plastic manufacturing is toxic and all meat and fish packed in plastic and polyethylene generate heat causing radiation which makes food poisonous

Workers in the polyethylene factories are more exposed to cancers, skin diseases and other fatal problems

Plastic bags have also acted as habitats for bacteria and mosquitoes in that waste disposed in them allow for multiplication of bacteria; and yet, today, malaria is the leading cause of deaths in children and mothers in Uganda.

In the slums, plastic bags have been cited to be the main cause of cholera in Kampala city since people use them as mobile toilets.

Children are also affected in the process since they play with such bags and at the end, get accidents.

Plastic bags are known for clogging waterways and channels causing floods.

Plastic bags can take between 15 and 1,000 years to breakdown causing prolonged disintegration leading to choking of the soils since they do not allow water to sink through.

When plastic bags are exposed to water and sunlight there is increasing likelihood that they will decompose and leach in to the soil thereby affecting soil fertility.

60% of stray cattle in Uganda die due to consumption of plastic bags

 There are approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of the world’s oceans and in some places there’s more plastic than plankton

Up to 47% of wind borne litter is mainly plastic bags and these end up in our towns, cities, forests, grasslands, waterways, and oceans.

Uganda is a challenge to its neighbors who have banned the use of plastic bags. Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority Director General Prof Geoffrey Wahungu said: “We have done well but we will not be free from plastic pollution if Uganda and Tanzania continue to produce the materials, which are sneaked into the country through the borders,”

Plastic bag usage in Uganda is not only a problem to Ugandans but even to its neighbors.

Uganda Parliament banned the importation, manufacture and use of Kaveera (polythene bags) but the ban was not implemented.

The High Court presided over by Justice Eldad Mwangusya declared that the importation and use of plastic bags violates the right of citizens to a clean and healthy environment. 

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), which is tasked to conserve the environment tried to implement the ban as stipulated in the law and supported by a court directive, their efforts were halted by government, hence frustrating its efforts. 

During the World Environment Day celebration in 2018, the President announced a plastic bag ban but the announcement remained on paper.

It is against this backdrop that I want President Museveni to ban plastic bags in my country.

Please sign my petition to President Museveni

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