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Stringent measures on producers of plastic as Parliament passes national environment bill

Companies that litter plastic waste to pay a penalty of Shs10m, new Act. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA– Parliament on Wednesday passed the National Environment Bill 2017 that seeks to repeal the National Environment Act Cap.153.

The bill seeks to replace the latter with a law that conforms to existing Government policies and other relevant laws.

According to the new amendment, corporate companies that litter plastic waste will pay a penalty of Shs 10m.

For pollution and emission of the environment, one could face up to 15 years of imprisonment or pay Sh1m.

The Bill will also see 100% of the environmental levy go to the National Environmental Fund, which will fund enforcement to lead agencies and local governments that manage the environment.

It also creates special conservation areas around Isimba Dam, or areas around Kalangala and Lake Victoria among others, giving the Minister Powers to declare such areas protected.

According to Biyika Lawrence Songa, the Vice-Chairperson Natural Resources Committee,  that the Bill calls for the banning of single-use carrier bags below 30 microns.

The manufacturers of polythene bags and plastics are also supposed to recycle plastic waste and also label the polythene bags.

The chairperson of the committee Keefa Kiwanuka says that industries engaged in producing plastics will be required to give an annual report on the amount of plastic they have produced, how much has been collected from the public and how much has been recycled.

The bill also establishes the Environmental Tribunal and its composition, the tenure of office of members and their remuneration.

 

 

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