Whereas there is sufficient, awareness about the effects of climate change, “a million plastic drinks bottles are bought every minute
globally”, says the United Nations. Nearly a third of these escape waste collection systems, allowing at least eight million tons to
leak into water bodies annually threatening marine life. This can be attributed to the fact that “people think that nature can clean
itself from human effects”. (Al Bast, M. Personal communication, May 1st, 2011)
Uganda a landlocked country is the only East African nation with an airport at a water body. This pearl of Africa, has numerous water bodies,
which are crucial in providing fresh drinking water and home to diverse aquatic life. However, its rapidly growing urban population is synonymous
with increased consumption and waste generation from both household and non-household sources. Plastic waste, a common sight in communities that
makes up 37% of the waste generated, is non-biodegradable and one of the leading causes of blocked storm-water drains resulting into flooding
and smelly water pools that are convenient breeding grounds for disease spreading vectors.
Grey Oak Limited is a construction company that executes both private and public projects under the supervision of authorities.
We have noticed through community interactions that these Municipal Authorities are facing financial and technical capacity constraints in waste management
as well as the public health risks from indiscriminately dumped and uncollected plastic waste. Additionally, there is no known corporate social responsibility
(CSR) drive by plastic producing and importing companies to follow up or provide proper disposal options of indiscriminate dumped post-consumer products.
Given these above underlying issues, it is clearly necessary to have a community based, cost effective and sustainable plastic waste management initiative.
Therefore, we at Grey Oak plan to work with the local authorities and communities to collect and re-purpose most of the waste plastic generated
as a CSR strategy by:
a. Donating 100no. 40-ton garbage collection compactors to the municipal councils of Mukono and Wakiso by 2023. creating value out of plastic waste
b. Piloting a community livelihood-improving project that creates value out of plastic waste converted into aesthetically pleasing and durable building
products like pavers, ventilators and tiles, which are on high demand in the construction industry.
As governments and companies round the world look to cut planet-warming emissions, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement goals to limit global temperature
rise to "well under" two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), finding ways to "green" construction is key. We hope that this will help reduce the amount of
plastics destined for our water bodies and landfills.