Uganda steps up the war on plastic

Let's all please take just a moment and look around ourselves. How far do we have to look to find something made with plastic?

In truth, we don't even have to look away from our computer monitors to complete the exercise. The plastic is there -- and it's laughing at us.

Uganda's leading Web site, New Vision, has published a report which outlines the drastic government sanctions being placed upon plastics there. Basically put, in Uganda, single use plastic is being outlawed.

Effective January 2010, people who are caught utilizing certain consumer plastics in Uganda could face fines in excess of $1,000 and jail time of up to three years, or both.

In addition to making plastic a contraband item, the government of Uganda has told the manufacturers of consumer plastics there to shut down and pack up their operations.

Evidently however, the government hasn't yet determined what actions to take regarding imported plastics such as those which arrive as wrapping for clothing items. Under consideration is a requirement that these items be unwrapped at point of entry, similar to the practice which is employed by Uganda's neighbor, Rwanda.

The plastic upon which we consumers have become so mindlessly dependent, now threatens the health of each and every one of us. In fact, it threatens the health of our entire beloved planet. You see, once discarded, plastic doesn't just go away. It does not readily biodegrade. It hangs around like a stray dog we made the mistake of feeding. It packs into landfills, fouls our waterways, and contaminates our landscape.