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Friday,September 25,2020 23:38 PM

Do you know which type of polythene was banned?

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th July 2007 03:00 AM

SINCE the pronouncement of the ban on buveera (polyethylene) by the Government during the budget speech, there has been a lot of confusion from a cross-section of people, thinking that the ban affects all types of polythene bags.

SINCE the pronouncement of the ban on buveera (polyethylene) by the Government during the budget speech, there has been a lot of confusion from a cross-section of people, thinking that the ban affects all types of polythene bags.

By John Kasozi

SINCE the pronouncement of the ban on buveera (polyethylene) by the Government during the budget speech, there has been a lot of confusion from a cross-section of people, thinking that the ban affects all types of polythene bags.

The street survey carried out by The New Vision found that as a result of this confusion, there is scarcity of buveera and their prices have also been hiked.

“When I bought bread, the seller asked for sh100 more to cater for the polythene bag. When I protested that the ban did not affect this type of buveera, he insisted that it did,” said a shopper in Nakawa Market.

Most hawkers in Nakawa were ignorant about what type of buveera were banned. They said the sh50 polythene bags were scarce compared to others.
The Government was forced to ban the buveera due to serious environmental concerns over the difficulties in disposing of polyethylene and plastic bags.

Polythene and plastic bags below high-density polyethylene (HDPE) 30 microns (gauge for polyethylene materials), have been banned and should be out of circulation by September 2007.

“This being a common problem in the region, the Cabinet agreed to ban plastic bags of less than 30 microns and to impose an excise duty of 120% on the rest,” said Ezra Suruma, the finance minister, during the budget speech.

Importation and production of the polythene bags was banned from July 1. However, there will be a transitional period of up to September 30 to allow for clearance of stock.

We are encouraging people to take on the 3Rs: reduce, recycle and re-use, to reduce the amount of plastics in the environment,” says Naomi Namara Karekaho, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) public relations officer.

She said NEMA would monitor compliance to the ban, production and use of small gauge polyethylene bags.
Haruna Kasaija, a hawker dealing in buveera at St.Balikudembe Market said, polythene bags of 30 microns are still bought at the original price of sh100.

“We sell all gauges above 30 between sh300 and sh500, depending to the customer’s bargaining power.”

According to NEMA, the light density buveera, which are commonly used for packaging consumer goods, do not break down in the natural environment. They take between 20-1,000 years to decompose.

Therefore, the amount of polyethylene bags in the environment is cumulative, with approximately one million polythene bags being added to the environment every year.

“Polythene waste causes soil degradation, blocks waste water drainage and interferes with permeation of water in the soil, rendering it unproductive for plant growth,” said Maria Mutagamba, the Minister of Water and Environment, during the monthly press conference at NEMA office recently.

Attitudinal problems, coupled with the current poor solid waste collection and disposal, have compounded the problem of polythene waste management in the country.

NEMA has partnered with the Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Investment Authority, urban authorities, Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Uganda Cleaner Production Centre and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards to implement policies on importing buveera and ensure that investors adhere to guidelines.

Do you know which type of polythene was banned?

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