Plastic bags have turned out to be the most used for grocery shopping by many Ugandans and one of the major reasons is because of the fact that they are cheap and easy to access although the convenience of using plastic bags comes at a very high cost to the environment of Uganda.
Our neighboring countries like Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania have realized how dangerous the plastic bags are and they have banned the use and sale of the plastic bags which are also famously known as Buveera.
Currently, it’s estimated that at least 600 tonnes of plastics are consumed every day in Uganda and most of them are disposed of irresponsibly.
Plastic bags pollute the land and water
When people are trying to dispose of them by burning the plastic bags they emit toxic chemicals causing respiratory problems of which Uganda has no serious laws against it.
Plastic bags are also the major cause of water contamination in the lakes of Uganda causing threats to aquatic life.
They are also the major cause of clogging sewage systems in the city.
Plastic bags are made from non-renewable sources
The materials used are ubiquitous polymer substance known as polyethylene which is ethylene, commonly extracted from natural gases then treated to become the polymer, forming long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms.
Many animals suffer harm at the hands of plastic bags in many ways like for example cows die when they eat the plastic bags from the grazing grounds while other animals suffer from intestinal obstructions which lead to a long and painful death for them.
They are harmful to human health
A study shows that 14 % of children between the ages of 8 and 14 living in Kampala have bronchial asthma because of pollution.
This costs millions of dollars to treat the children and when the government decides to clean-up the polluted land, water, and air it will be very costly.
They also act as habitats for bacteria and mosquitoes that transmit Malaria which is the leading cause of deaths in children and mothers in Uganda.
They are hard to clean and remove from the environment
Plastic bags can take from 15 to 1000 years to a breakdown which in return causes prolonged disintegration that chokes the soil since it does not allow water to sip through.
According to a report from the Kampala Capital City Authority, it spends 10 billion shillings ($2.7 million) annually to unblock the drainage system of debris – including plastic bags.
All in all, if Uganda decides to ban plastic bags it will greatly impact the environment and help keep the country clean and the animals safe. The natives will also learn to appreciate to use local reusable raw materials like woven baskets for grocery shopping.