With effect from Monday next week the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) arrest and prosecute offenders of the recent ban on the use and importation of low grade plastic bags in the country.
The ban on the use of thin plastic bags, locally known as buveera, that are of 30 microns and below, came into effect on October 1st. Anyone found producing or selling the banned buveera will face a maximum penalty of three years in prison or a fine of 36 million shillings under the National Environmental Law.
Naomi Karekaho, NEMA Public Relations Officer, says it has been observed that several manufacturers have not heeded the call to stop manufacturing and using buveera of 30 microns and below. She says a crack down on the banned plastic bags will start in Kampala before moving to other towns in the country.
Karekaho says the largest challenge is from bottled water producers. She explains that the plastic seals around the water bottles are less than 30 microns and should be outlawed. However there are complications regarding water distributed before the ban came into effect and issues of quality control for the bottled water.
Karekaho says NEMA has decided to first concentrate on carrier bags before extending the operation to the water bottles. She says a media campaign will be conducted to enforce the ban on the buveera.