Uganda’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) finally decided to enforce a ban on polythene bags as shopping carrier bags. NEMA gave supermarkets and farmers markets a deadline to phase out polythene bags; and by the time the deadline arrived on 15th April 2015 they have seemingly complied. NEMA’s ban of polythene shopping bags has since become one of the much talked about subject with many lamenting the crisis of no-polythene bags for shopping. “What does the Government want us to do now? How will we carry our shopping home? Why did the Government not first find an alternative for us before banning polythene bags?” The incredulous and purposeless lamentations continue. Then the big shocker, in order to enforce the ban on polythene bags, the Government is reportedly planning to compensate for loss of business those who invested in and have profited from producing polythene bags? Read more
This is good news - well done Uganda! California also has a ban on plastic shopping bags and it seems to be working well. In most stores you receive paper bags, and some charge an extra 5 or 10 cents for the bag (to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags from home).
Thank you for writing with this news, @anon35514259. Plastics are a huge problem and consumers and the plastic manufacturers lobbies dont make it any easier to find solutions. Many big stores in India have shifted to trendy bags made of handloom cloth (they are almost collectors’ item) and colourful paper bags. But very thin plastic bags dispensed by small vendors seem very hard to get rid of.
Our paralegal team in North Karnataka recently organised a meeting of rural people affected by landfill sites. Plastics used by residents in nearby towns are a huge part of this problem. Unless we tackle this comprehensively, rural farming landscapes and forest areas around cities and towns are reduced to dumping grounds.
Look forward to highlights of this meeting and some photos @mrhegde
More power to your green elbow Norah.
@anon35514259 I fully support the ban. Plastic bags is a big problem to the environment not only are they non degradable but they also clog the drainage system and during heavy rain season it causes flooding. I pray that it succeeds in Uganda for Kenya to borrow a leaf from you.