Plastic is proving to be a silent killer and it’s all happening before our eyes. I don’t know how many stories I have read about dead Whales that have washed up on beaches with their stomachs full of plastic.
I also recently watched a video of a chick vomiting plastic and I was completely broken. We as a human race are failing Earth, the one place we all call home. And it’s not like there is Earth 2 or an alternate universe we shall run to. Even if it was discovered tomorrow, very few of us would make it out.
As much as my last trip to Aruu falls was breathtaking, it also left me perplexed. We found some plastic bottles and polythene bags thrown on the path to the foot of the waterfall. As my friend and I picked it up, all I thought about was “why?”
Do they know it takes about 450 years for a mere plastic bottle to break down in the ground? Do they care about the effects of their actions or they are completely clueless? The questions were quite many but very few answers.
A few weeks ago, I had a chat with a friend who participated in a community outreach program that aimed at sensitizing the locals about proper waste management but to their amusement, the locals wanted to be paid to clean their own surrounding.
The issue of poor waste management is one that bites many countries and Uganda is no exception. It’s easy to see how dire the problem is when it rains: the drainage system is clogged by mostly plastic. One can choose to remain indifferent because well, what’s the Government doing?
I don’t know how many people I have seen throw trash out of their car windows – like seriously, who do they expect to clean up after them? Why can’t they just keep the trash in the car and dispose of it the right way later? Is it too much to ask?
However, there are some legendary people who throw the trash back into the person’s car. I commend them and I can only hope this results in an attitude change.
We can all play a part in saving and protecting our environment, no matter how small it is. I’m a strong believer in the ripple effect: if I can change two or three people’s attitudes, I believe they can also change another person’s attitude.
We need to take action!
1. Take the initiative and sensitize your communities/peers/families about the dangers of poor waste management. Call out your friends when they throw out trash irresponsibly.
2. Reduce your personal consumption of plastic products.
3. Recycle and reuse where you can.
It starts with ordinary people like you and I. Be The Change. Hopefully, the Government can also ban polythene bags and support startups that are trying to recycle plastics among other things.