The work of KIWOI has a positive environmental impact in Uganda by reducing the amount of plastic by recycling plastic straws into reusable bags. In Uganda, plastic bags block waterways, which causes flooding; pollute water sources; and create toxic pollution if burned. Single-use plastic bags pose a global threat to the environment with over 1 trillion plastic bags used and disposed of each year.
Plastic and other potentially reusable materials are frequently discarded in the streets and landfills clogging gutters leading to flooding. Animals commonly become ill or are killed from ingesting plastic and other trash, which is a major issue as livestock are a major commodity and provide sustenance and income for the community.
In order to promote recycling and the use of reusable bags, KIWOI provided 300 bags to three of the largest markets in the Kinawataka slum free of charge. Another 48 were given to Mbuya Parents School after providing a training session on the dangers of plastic bags. The goal of both projects was to introduce the concept of reusing bags in order to protect the environment in Kampala.
As part of KIWOIâ€™s training, the organization teaches women about the negative affects of plastic waste with an emphasis on the use of disposable polyethylene bags. Over 734 women from Kampala, Gulu and eastern Uganda have undergone KIWOIâ€™s training, which focuses on the need to reduce the use of plastic and on producing eco-friendly products from used straws.