‘Total ban’ on plastic bags coming soon

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - 2015-05-24 - Waste in Jangwani in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on May 24, 2015. Photo by Daniel Hayduk

A total ban on plastic bags across Tanzania is expected to take effect on January 1, 2017. Pictured, plastic waste washes up along Morogoro Rd in Jangwani following days of rain.  Photo: Daniel Hayduk

A ‘total ban’ on the use of plastic bags is expected to be imposed on January 1, 2017.

“The purpose of the government to ban [sic] the use of plastic bags is to avoid health and environmental effects resulting from the use of plastic bags,” says a statement issued by the Vice President’s office on Thursday, August 18.

The statement listed a long series of grievances against plastic bags: their impact on soil quality, nuisance of general litter, blocking of drains and causing floods, damage to ecosystems, death of animals which accidentally consume plastic materials, endangering human health when used to contain hot foods, poisonous gasses released when used as a fire starter, and air pollution when burned.

The Vice President’s office says they hope plastic bag manufacturers take advantage of the four month warning to shift to the production of alternate types of bags or into plastic waste recycling.

In May 2015, vendors were required to begin charging their customers a nominal fee for plastic bags.

Zanzibar adopted the use of paper bags in 2005, and Rwanda banned their use in 2008.

UN Habitat ranks Dar as ‘well below average’ in sanitation and waste compared to other African cities.

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About the Author

Daniel Hayduk
Daniel is Dar Post's news director. When not in the newsroom, he spends his days helping NGOs across the continent find their creative side.

5 Comments on "‘Total ban’ on plastic bags coming soon"

  1. Some things like food products and other products on display in retail shops and supermarkets need a form of see-through packaging to protect it from dust and bacteria. Perhaps a biodegradable type of plastic should be looked into. I definitely agree that “carrier bags” should not be plastic. These are discarded all over the place, because people do not have the culture of taking their trash home and disposing of it properly. They just throw everything wherever they are standing or passing.

  2. Bernadette G | August 21, 2016 at 17:27 |

    Next should be drinks bottles in plastic. Let’s go back to glass bottles where you pay for a deposit. People can return the bottles to the stores and not just throw it away everywhere.

  3. Plastic bags do such damage to the environment & to animals. Paper bags, to me, are bulky & too large. If a softer material could be found. I know abroad, plastic is not used. Use whatever they do as it seems to be working.

  4. Awesome move, hope Kenya would be serious too and listen to the cries of #IsupportBanPlasticsKE campaign on the ban of plastic bags in Kenya. Plastic bags are just a menace and dangerous to everything and yes I second the comment “…Perhaps a biodegradable type of plastic should be looked into…”

  5. KD Perkins | August 31, 2016 at 18:52 |

    Tanzania grows a lot of sisal. What about sisal bags?

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