83% of the 1.6 tonnes of waste collected after the first-ever Bell Lager ObaFest that happened on 22nd October 2023 at Jahazi Pier Munyonyo was recycled – marking the beginning of an era of environmentally sustainable social events in Uganda.
According to a report from Asante Waste Management Ltd. 1 – which was contracted to ensure proper waste management and recycling practices before, during, and after the beer festival – a total of 1,666.30 kg (1.6 tonnes) of waste was collected – with 82.8% (1,379.30 kg or 1.3 tonnes) being recyclables and 17.22% (287 kg) being residue that was disposed of at the designated KCCA landfill.
The brand’s move is in line with recent trends that have seen more music and outdoor festivals around the world adopt green practices, such as the Glastonbury Festival, Burning Man, the Global Citizen Festival, and more 2, and is a timely development following increased concern about Kampala’s waste management situation 3.
While addressing the National Technical Consultation workshop to develop a national action plan for the management of plastic pollution in Uganda in February last year, Dr. Akankwasa Barirega, the Executive Director of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), said that Kampala alone generates 150 tonnes of waste daily and only 40 percent of the plastic waste produced in urban areas is collected.
He added that the other 60 percent is not disposed of properly and contributes to the pollution of Uganda’s water bodies, negatively affects soil fertility and agricultural productivity, and also contributes to the blockage of drainage channels – which leads to floods.
Steered by the ambition to become Africa’s most sustainable festival by 2030, Bell ObaFest is taking significant steps to deliver an environmental impact and ensure a greener and more responsible festival experience.
Grace Amme, the Bell Lager brand manager, said, “ObaFest was a festival of many firsts and we are happy to champion a move towards sustainable festivals in Uganda. By being intentional about the way we collect and dispose of the waste generated from our events, we are sending a message to the communities in which we operate that we care about our collective well-being and the challenges we face as a people. Bell Lager is committed to ensuring the preservation and conservation of our environment even as we let the good times flow.”
Bell Lager’s efforts are guided by Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL)’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress sustainability agenda – under which the business focuses on making a positive contribution to the communities within which it operates by among others – preserving natural resources; promoting the positive and moderate consumption of alcohol and; championing inclusion and diversity.