Youth save the environment in Katwe By Ayaa Nancy Susan
The plastic waste collection point at Katwe Ku Railway
Katwe Ku Railway is a spot in Katwe, a Kampala suburb. There is a trading centre near the spot,
but what is more noticeable is a group of youthful boys who are always up and about. Their main
job is packing plastics in huge sacks, ready to be sold to recycling companies. The boys are in
this trade to earn a living. Little do they know that part of their action is saving the environment
from toxic substances that could be released from the plastics into the soil, due to the effect of
sunlight on them.
The use of plastics is common worldwide because the products are considered light, cheap and
have a myriad of uses. In the Journal of Field Actions, a 2019 article, Reinventing Plastics, states
that since 1950, close to half of all the plastics produced have ended up either in landfills or
being dumped in the wild. The study estimates that every year, 4 to 12 million metric tonnes of
plastic waste ends up in the oceans.
If all countries invested in a domestic recycling industry and set a binding target for plastic
reduction, the amount of plastic waste that accumulates in the wild, as well as those in the
landfills, will be significantly reduced.
The good news is that in Uganda, companies like Plastic Recycling Industry, Takataka plastics
and other small and medium sized plastic recycling entities are exploring the opportunity of
transforming the waste into reusable products. This will, certainly, pave the way for increasing
recycled plastic waste in the country.
By Ayaa Nancy Susan