National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has this month impounded 1,800 kgs of kaveera (plastic bags) from retailers, distributors and manufacturers, and will continue an incineration campaign at Zirobwe, Nakasongola.
State Minister for Environment Flavia Munaaba told the press at the Uganda Media Centre today that the resumed enforcement of the kaveera ban follows a landmark court ruling in their favour.
Lady Justice Oumo Oguli on March 30, 2016 dismissed an application and awarded costs to NEMA in a case filed by the Uganda Plastics Manufacturers and Recyclers Association Ltd (UPMRA).
The conference was held to clarify issues on plastic bags and the case between Uganda Plastic Manufacturers and the NEMA. She dismissed as false allegations that NEMA were ordered to pay 40 billion to UMPRA.
Munaaba called upon the public to embrace the different environment friendly alternatives of packaging, as well as the sellers and manufacturers to abide by the law.
On January 29th 2016, the Manufacturers had obtained an exparte Interim Injunction against NEMA. This restrained NEMA from implementing further kaveera bans and also closing the Manufacturer’s factories.
This was quickly followed days later when Ajiji Mackay, Deputy Registrar, High Court ruled in favour of NEMA on February 25 to enforce the law and not carry out closure of factories outside the existing laws.
But Justice Oumo in her ruling stated that economic gain shouldn’t override the right to a clean and healthy environment. The court allowed NEMA to carry out an enforcement ban on the manufacture, distribution, sale and use of plastic bags as instructed in the Finance Act, 2009.
NEMA resumed the implementation of the ban on plastic carrier bags on April 15, 2015, in line with the Finance Act, 2009 and the enabling regulations of 2010 after a huddle of court applications filed by the Uganda Plastics Manufacturers and Recyclers Association Ltd (UPMRA).