UNEA - Eco Brixs Perspective

Sinan Kitagenda is a Production Manager at Eco Brixs, a closed loop recycling programme based in Uganda which tackles plastic waste and high unemployment across marginalized communities disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. Here he explains how he became involved in plastic waste advocacy and what he hopes will be achieved at UNEA.

'Sinan with Dr. Inger Andersen, The Executive Director of UNEP'


‘I grew up in Kamuli district, in a remote and rural village in Uganda. As a young kid, I would gather plastic security caps off plastic waste bottles from the streets, to produce my own playing ropes and use straws and empty soda bottles to create door entrance curtains for a living. What others threw away, I started to use as a valuable resource. This changed my mindset towards waste and I started to see the need and value in protecting the environment. After completing a BSc in Conservation Biology and being involved in pro-plastic advocacy and leadership at Makerere University, I joined Eco Brixs, as a Production Manager in 2020.

Through a circular economic model, Eco Brixs provides an innovative solution to address plastic pollution by converting plastic waste into value added products for the construction and health industries, such as bricks, tiles and PPE, which not only addresses issues associated with plastics across the whole life-cycle but also creates much needed employment opportunities for vulnerable communities. Since 2017, Eco Brixs has recycled over 500 tonnes of plastic, created more than 3000 additional income opportunities and is one of the leading recycling organisations in Uganda using a circular economic model.

Today, at the UNEA 5.2, we are joining more than 120 businesses and financial institutions, more than 700 civil society organizations and stakeholder groups, to call upon Member States to agree a resolution for a legally binding agreement to combat plastic pollution. In order to tackle the challenge of plastic pollution, it is imperative that stakeholders from across civil society, academic, business and government come together to devise solutions which are focused on the whole life cycle of plastics whilst recognising the rights and needs of all individuals from across the plastics value chain. At the moment, there’s a lack of consensus on how to combat plastic pollution at an international level – the existing control regime is fragmented, unclear and lacking in urgency.

'The Eco Brixs team getting ready to join UNEA 5.2'


As the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, the decisions made this week at UNEA 5.2 provide the opportunity to help support the transition towards a circular economy where all individuals from across the plastics life cycle can be recognised. At Eco Brixs we work with over 3000 waste pickers who play an invaluable role in the waste management chain and their voices must be heard and listened to. We also believe that more financing for plastic reduction solutions in developing countries which lack waste management infrastructure are needed along with mandatory plastic reduction targets which governments will be subject to. We are now calling upon Member States to adopt the draft resolution 'End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument.' There is no more time to waste.

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