Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has come out to explain why he halted the ban on plastic bags, which was slated to take effect today.
National Environmental Management Authority [NEMA] a couple of days ago announced that the ban; which was introduced in the 2009/10, would take effect on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Rugunda came out yesterday, just hours to the deadline and postponed the ban, ‘pending discussions with the relevant ministries and other stakeholders.’
He said he was approached by representatives of the Uganda Manufacturers Association [UMA] and Kampala City Traders Association [KACITA] who raised concerns about the ban.
The Premier’s decision was met with mixed reactions from the sections of the population, with many questioning government’s commitment to protect the environment.
Plastic bags are considered amongst Uganda’s worst environment pollutants, as they contain toxic dyes and plasticizers that can leach into foodstuffs, thereby endangering consumer’s health.
In response to some of the concerns, Dr Rugunda has come out this morning to defend his stance, saying that implementation of the ban would call for a properly coordinated approach.
“The principle of the need to protect our shared environment through many ways including the ban on the use of the kaveera is not in question. What we need is a properly coordinated approach for effective implementation,” he said in a statement.
“We also need effective public education and awareness to ensure personal responsibility by each one of us at all levels to ensure proper waste disposal that we do not litter and throw garbage everywhere, so that collectively, we protect the environment.”