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.