According to people spearheading a campaign aimed at ridding the area from plastic wastes, most of the dangerous plastic materiasl have been collected from the suburbs of Nyendo , Kyabakuza , Kimaanya , Katwe , Kirumba and landing sites of Bukakkata and Lambu on the shores of lake Victoria.
Rev Fr James Ssendege, the initiator of the campaign, told Daily Monitor that they are ‘‘aiming at a plastic -free environment by recycling plastics into reusable products to conserve biodiversity.’’
He said their campaign was recently boosted by Masaka Catholic Diocese which donated half an acre of land where they are setting up a Shs3b plastic recycling factory together with Mr Andy Bownds, the executive director Eco Brixs Uganda.
Mr Bownds said when the factory is complete, they will be able to increase their plastic waste collection capacity from 30 tonnes to 55 tonnes a month.
“The factory space will house the new machines which include melt blown machine which turns PET plastic bottles into fibre, crusher which makes plastic flake for processing, 4X extruder machine which allows to continue to innovate with in plastic lumber space and 2X injection moulding machine which creates designs specific to customer’s needs ,” he explained.
In an interview on Saturday, Fr Ssendege also noted that they target creating green sustainable jobs to lift people out of abject poverty.
Currently, the group has already established 30 community plastic collection hubs as well as enrolling 29 schools in active plastic education programmes in both Masaka City and Masaka District.
Products from recycled plastics
Out of plastic wastes, Fr Ssendege said they are making products such as terminate resistant plastic lumbers which serve similar purpose as wood or concrete poles, dog houses, tables, desks and frames.
Other products include; fibre utilised for Covid-19 protection and making of personal protective equipment and interlocking bricks used in building low cost housing units.
“All these materials are becoming alternatives for wood and soil hence reducing deforestation and brick making which degrades the environment and the fragile ecosystem. We are also planning to expand our coverage beyond southern region and go to other regions like Western, Eastern and Kampala, but Masaka will remain our satellite city,” he said.
In all major cities and towns across the country, an estimated 700 tonnes of plastic are used every day. If multiplied by 365, you have more than 300,000 tonnes of plastic a year.