In his speech during a budget session in the National Parliament of Tanzania the Prime Minister His Excellency Kassim Majaliwa announced that the last day to use plastic bags in Tanzania will be 31st May 2019 and from the 1st June no one will be allowed to produce, import, sell or use plastic bags. He called on the plastic producing industries in the country to diverse some other technology for carrying bags instead of plastics. He said he has directed the minister for environment and union from the Vice President’s office to include the ban in the existing environment law and make it a legal ban.
WWF Country Director Dr. Amani Ngusaru has congratulated the government for stepping up the fight against plastic pollution in the country. He said WWF Tanzania is impressed with the Tanzania government’s decision to ban the use of plastic bags and carriers which will be a big bust in the bid to protect the environment and natural resources.
“Plastic is a number one polluter of environment and a silent killer of our natural environment and resources than most people understand. This is because it takes more than a hundred years for a single plastic bag to decay. We are happy that Tanzania is among the very few African countries to ban the use of plastic bags and we will work hard toward supporting the government in the fight against plastic pollution”.
“We understand that the control of plastic pollution calls for all stakeholders’ participation in raising awareness and making sure that the ban is being effectively observed, we are therefore ready to work with the government to give expert advice whenever needed. Our initiatives will also be directed towards raising awareness to the Tanzania community as we believe an educated man is a wealthy man”. He said.
Tanzania joins about 13 countries in Africa that have either banned or introduced a levy on plastic bags to control and eventually stop its use. In East Africa Kenya introduced a complete ban on plastic last August while in Uganda In 2007, a ban of lightweight plastic bags was introduced and came into effect that year. However, the ban was never implemented. Plastics even the countries with bans are still using them illegally.
Plastic which was introduced in Africa a generation ago has been reported to pollute both the seas and land at an alarming rate. According to EcoWatch Plastics affect all biological spectrum, including posing risks to human health and wildlife, the accumulation of these products has led to increasing amounts of environmental pollution around the world including Africa. About 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean's surface is believed to be emanating from plastics.
According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), half of all plastic produced is designed to be used just once and then discarded, resulting in mass amounts of chemically-laden debris landing in oceans and littering landscapes.
© Source WWF