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Firms tackle plastic waste problem

Stanbic, Coca-Cola, Nice House of Plastics sign plastics deal

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | Faced with the undeniable consequences of a toxic tide of plastics, three private firms have entered into a partnership to recycle plastic waste.

Stanbic Bank, Cola-Cola Beverages Africa and Nice House of Plastics on July.22 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable them collaborate in recycling plastics to protect the environment.

This comes as available data indicates that an estimated 600 tons of plastics are consumed every day in Uganda, with most of them disposed of irresponsibly.

In Kampala city alone, an estimated 51% of the garbage is left uncollected, the reason behind the frequent clogging of sewage systems.

Ann Juuko, the chief executive officer at Stanbic Bank said the lender will provide all the necessary finance and advisory services required to facilitate plastic waste recycling.

“…We are proud to be the financial advisors in this initiative as it also aligns to our social, economic and environmental (SEE) priorities,” she said, noting that the bank is committed to promoting sustainability through its activities and increase opportunities to deliver sustainable and impactful investment expertise to its clients.

Juuko said environmental sustainability must remain a priority for all organisations as they shall each contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Stanbic Bank is currently the country’s largest commercial bank with approximately Shs7trillion in assets. Last year, the lender recorded Shs 259bn in net profit, which translates into nearly a quarter of the country’s banking industry profit. Its financial muscle is expected to cause success of this partnership.

The Coca Cola Beverage Africa’s Plastic Recycling Industries (PRI) will not only scale up plastic waste recycling but also collect and supply PET flakes as raw materials for Nice House of Plastics to create finished products such as Yarn-Fibre, Wood Plastic Composite and rPET (recycled PET bottles).

The companies will also make the necessary effort to engage plastic manufacturing companies to set up plastic collection centres in the communities as part of an extended producer responsibility to increase the amount of plastics collected and channeled to the recycling project.

The partnership will provide a market for valued added recycled plastics that can be used locally in the Ugandan market. This move is expected to create more simple jobs especially for youth and women both directly and indirectly.

Melkamu Abebe, the general manager of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa entities in Uganda (Century and Rwenzori Bottling Companies) said plastic waste recycling is a key component of their sustainability focus in the Coca-Cola system.

He said Coca-Cola has a global initiative called ‘world without waste’ under which it commits to help collect and recycle 100% of the PET waste generated by consumers.

He also said the company is committed to collaborations that embed the culture of plastic waste separation and recycling and called on all Ugandans to join and support such initiatives.

Meanwhile, Nice House of Plastics Managing Director, Barbara Mulwana, said the partnership will provide them with the much needed plastic raw materials that will be used in production of their products.

Nice House of Plastics has previously imported some of the raw materials. This collaboration means solving the company’s raw material problem and promoting a safe environment.

Nice House of Plastics will then use the recycled plastics that will be further modified through value-addition to create final products like Yarn-Fibre, Wood Plastic Composite and rPET (recycled PET).

Nice House of Plastics is Ugandan owned and has operated for many years after starting in 1970 under the Mulwana Group of Companies, a diverse business conglomerate with interests in dairy farming, plastics and manufacturing.

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