New timeline set for plastic bag ban

Plastic bags are now to be banned by the end of June, 2017. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

After a false-start in January, the Vice President’s Office says they’ll be ready for a total ban on plastic bags at the end of June.

“The process has taken a long time … Comprehensive regulations on production, trade and use of plastic bags will guide consumers, industrialists and dealers,” says Richard Muyungi, assistant director for climate change in the Vice President’s Office.

“The government wants the [sic] smooth process of controlling the use of harmful plastic bags,” says Muyungi.

When the ban does come into effect, it is expected there will be an amnesty period after which the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) will conduct spot checks with on-the-spot fines for businesses not adhering to the ban.

Some supermarkets have already switched to using paper 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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