Tanzania Bans Complete Plastic Bags Starting Jan 1

To make environment friendly Tanzanian government has banned use of plastic bags and issued a statement for businesses to either adopt new technologies or to shut down facilities.

The total ban on plastic is to start on January 1, 2017, said the government, led by deputy Minister in the Vice President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment) Luhaga Mpina, before Parliamentary Committee on Industries, Trade and Environment.

Mpina presented a draft of regulations and under it medical services, industrial packaging, agriculture sector, construction industry, sanitation and waste management are exempted.

The draft added further a special phasing out time will be given for the manufacturers for up to two years either to shut down their facilities, change technology or lay off workers.

The ban was earlier announced in August this year and then it was ordered the manufacturers to make bags which will be for export only.

Mpina said plastic bags are causing devastating pollution and the ban has been tried since 2006 for the plastic bags below 30 microns width. Now the ban is for the plastic bags altogether.

He added authorities in Dar es Salaam spent up to Sh10 billion annually to repair water supply infrastructure which were blocked due to plastic bags.

However, the MPs raised concerns on illegal import of plastic bags. A data reveals 70 percent of plastic bags used in Tanzania were imported illegally from countries like Kenya, China and Dubai.

Plastic Manufacturers Association of Tanzania (PMAT) meanwhile has shown no regret to the ban announced by Parliamentary Committee.