The Minister of State for Environment, Hon. Beatrice Anywar (center) officially launches the plastic waste collection initiative of the ‘Taasa Obutonde’ campaign at Shell Bugolobi. She is flanked by Vivo Energy MD Mr. Gilbert Assi (4th left), National Environment Management Authority Executive Director, Dr. Akankwasa Barirega (3rd right), Vivo Energy EVP East and Southern Africa, Mr. Hans Paulsen (2nd right) and campaign partners.
Vivo Energy Uganda, the company that markets and distributes Shell-branded fuels and products, has today launched a new plastic waste collection initiative for the public, at its Shell service stations. This is part of its environmental sustainability campaign named ‘Taasa Obutonde.’
Plastic pollution is currently one of the biggest environmental concerns due to the increase of single-use plastics and poor disposal habits by the public. Poorly disposed of plastic waste contains toxic pollutants that damage the environment and cause land, water, and water pollution.
In a bid to encourage its customers and the public to adopt responsible disposal of used plastics and thereby reduce the tonnage of plastics disposed of in our drainage systems and the environment, Vivo Energy Uganda and its partners have created public centralized collection points for plastic waste at its extensive network of Shell service stations countrywide.
Vivo Energy Uganda has partnered with Plastic Recycling Industries Limited, an initiative of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda (CCBA), to routinely collect plastic waste from over 167 Shell service stations countrywide for recycling purposes. The pilot phase of this project shall see an initial 12 Shell service stations launched as collection centres in Kampala and Wakiso. These include Shell Bugolobi, Kabalagala, Bulenga, Kira Road, Banda, Makerere Kikoni, Kalerwe, Namirembe, Entebbe, Katwe, Wandegeya and Mengo. At each of the stations, there shall be two collection bins for the public to dispose of plastics and organic waste separately.
Speaking at the event held at Shell Bugolobi service station, Vivo Energy MD Mr. Gilbert Assi said, “The ‘3Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle’ approach is one of the requirements we adhere to as a company under our ISO 14001:2015 certification that was recently awarded for our successful implementation of international Environmental Management Systems. We are pleased, therefore, to associate with like-minded partners such as Plastic Recycling Industries to further advance the ideals of the 'Taasa Obutonde' campaign. We encourage all Ugandans to adopt a culture of safely disposing plastic waste at public waste bins provided by city authorities and the centralised collection points that our Shell service stations now have to offer. This initiative shall go a long way in supporting recycling as a means of ensuring that communities mitigate the impact of plastic pollution on the environment.”
Vivo Energy Executive Vice President for East and Southern Africa, Mr. Hans Paulsen said: “Taasa Obutonde, as an environmental campaign, embodies our Vivo Energy Group-wide strategic objectives on the environment, sustainability and governance in Uganda and throughout the 23 countries where we operate in Africa. As a partner in the development of this country, we will continue to advance initiatives such as ‘Taasa Obutonde’ and together with our partners, rally all our customers to do the right thing in ensuring environmental sustainability for the benefit of future generations.”
“By adding our wide network of Shell service stations to the existing public plastic waste collection centres, we are playing our part in reducing the burden of irresponsible waste disposal not only for the government and KCCA but on the environment too,” he added.
Kampala Capital City Authority currently grapples with a huge plastic waste collection burden in the city. According to studies, an average of 1,500 tonnes of plastic waste is generated daily, with only 500 tonnes properly managed, representing a collection efficiency of 30%. This implies that most of the waste generated is not safely recycled and goes into the environment. Poorly disposed of plastic waste and polythene bags accounts for the blockage of the public drainage systems and flooding during heavy downpours in the city and suburbs.
The Guest of Honour, the State Minister for Environment, Hon. Beatrice Anywar hailed the Taasa Obutonde campaign as a model of a successful public-private partnership in promoting environmental sustainability and awareness.
“The government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Water and Environment welcomes such partnerships with the private sector and urges all Ugandans to join hands to promote the sustainability of our environment and our beautiful country. Importantly, the ‘Taasa Obutonde’ campaign is appreciated for highlighting the problem of plastic pollution which is a challenge the world over. We pledge our commitment to support the objectives of the campaign,” said Hon. Anywar.
In attendance were officials from partner companies of the ‘Taasa Obutonde’ campaign including Stanbic Bank, Uganda Breweries Limited, Next Media Service, National Environment Management Authority and Coca Cola Beverages Limited.
The “Taasa Obutonde” campaign unpacks the dangers of the irresponsible use of plastics and the impact of the disposal on the environment, human and animal life. It airs on NBS TV, Sanyuka TV, Salam TV, radio stations and on digital platforms, creating awareness about the safe disposal of plastics while encouraging adoption of the 3Rs – ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ to encourage positive behavioural change and an overall slowdown in environmental degradation.