IRA – A total of 183 tons of plastic bottles have been collected in Lira City within a period of three years.
The collection of plastic bottles by the recycling companies is intended to keep Lira City free of plastic waste.
According to Leonard Otika, Lira City environment officer, Global Livingston Institute has so far collected 63 tons, John Wire Investments has collected 70 tons while Mukwano Industries Limited has collected 50 tons from 2021 to date. The companies based in Kampala have partnered with Lira City to help manage plastic bottles.
According to Otika, the collection of plastic bottles is one way of conserving the environment in the city. Most of the pervasive plastic bottles collected are for sodas, juices, mineral water, alcohol, and energy drinks.
“As Lira City Council, we have benefited a lot from the companies because we have saved the money we used to spend on removing the plastic bottles from the streets and the drainage systems,” Otika said.
Otika said plastic bottles are not good for the environment since they can stay in the soil for 500 years but are also dangerous to humans when burnt.
“You know well that plastics do not rot, they can stay in the soil for a maximum of 500 years and when burnt, they release very toxic carbon that is cancerous to human,” Otika said.
Wilfred Okello, the manager of Global Livingston Institute said they used to collect only 10 tons of plastic bottles for recycling when they started in 2021 but now collect 12 tons monthly.
Okello said their intentions were to keep Lira City free of plastics, and protect the environment.
“At first, we used to buy a kilogramme of plastic bottles at Shs 150 but when we later increased the price to Shs 300, we collected more bottles from the people,” Okello said.
John Emoka, manager of John Wire Investment Limited located in Lira City West Division said dealing in plastic bottles has made him earn an income.
However, Emoka called for a plastic recycling factory to be built in Lira, saying it would help residents get good jobs and also cut transport costs for his company which has to transport the picked bottles to Kampala for recycling.
“I always spend a lot of money transporting these plastic bottles and gain very little. This can be made better when a recycling factory is brought near to us,” Emoka said.
Global Livingston Institute always delivers some of the plastic bottles to Century Bottling Company Limited in Kampala, the manufacturers of coca cola and other drinks.
The recycling of plastic bottles has helped a good number of people in Lira City to get jobs as collectors and graders of residual materials.
Gloria Akello who dropped out of school says grading plastic bottles is much better than digging.
Akello who is employed at Global Livingston Institute now wishes for the continuity of the company so that she keeps her job.
“If this plastic company could continue, I would just continue working with them because I can get some money, at least daily,” Akello wished.
Benefits of recycling plastic bottles for cash
Recycling plastic bottles reduces the quantity of plastic garbage that enters landfills, oceans, and other waterways.
Saves Energy: Making plastic products from recycled plastic bottles requires far less energy than manufacturing them from raw materials.
Preserves Natural Resources: Recycling plastic bottles helps conserve petroleum, water, and other natural resources needed to produce new plastic products.
Reduces Pollution: Manufacturing plastic products from recycled bottles produces significantly less air and water pollution than making them from raw materials.
Creates Jobs: Recycling centers and companies that process recycled plastic bottles create jobs in the local economy.
Generates Revenue: Selling plastic bottles for cash can provide a steady income source for individuals and households.
Supports Local Communities: The money generated from bottle recycling can fund local projects and services.
Encourages Sustainable Practices: Recycling plastic bottles helps promote sustainability by reducing the use of non-renewable resources.
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