Tanzania joins other African countries with plastic bag bans

Africa has 34 of these countries, followed by Europe with 29.
Tanzania joins other African countries with plastic bag bans | News Central TV

A plastic bag ban comes into force in Tanzania on Saturday, as Africa leads efforts to stem the tide of plastic blighting the farthest reaches of the globe, and depths of the ocean.

Tanzania is banning the importation, production, sale and use of plastic bags, becoming the 34th African country to implement such restrictions, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

“Let me be clear on this, once it reaches June 1, the government is not planning to add any more days and we will not tolerate anyone who will be caught using them. No plastic bag will be allowed in the country,” Tanzania’s vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan said when announcing the move in April.

Tanzania, whose wildlife is a popular tourist draw, has also issued a notice to travellers that they will have to “surrender” plastic bags in their possession before entering the country.

“The government expects that, in appreciation of the imperative to protect the environment and keep our country clean and beautiful, our visitors will accept minor inconveniences resulting from the plastic bags ban,” said the statement.

Your Friends Also Read:  Forced evictions render 5,000 Kenyan slum dwellers homeless amidst Covid-19

According to local media, anyone caught manufacturing or importing plastic bags and plastic wrappings could get a fine of one billion Tanzanian shillings ($430,000) or face imprisonment for up to two years. 

Possession and usage can lead to a fine of $87 or imprisonment for seven days, or both. 

Degrees of success –

Globally, 127 countries have some sort of plastic bag legislation, 91 of which include a ban or restriction on manufacturing, importation and retail distribution, according to UNEP.

Africa has 34 of these countries, followed by Europe with 29.

Patrick Mwesigye, UNEP’s regional co-ordinator for resource efficiency told AFP that the degree of success of the bans varied in Africa.

Rwanda’s plastic bag ban has been in place for over a decade and is considered one of the most successful.

Your Friends Also Read:  Mozambican government, Renamo leader sign historic peace deal

“But Rwanda had an advantage that there wasn’t much manufacturing of plastics,” in the country when the ban was implemented, said Mwesigye.

Countries with manufacturing and import industries, where jobs are impacted by bans, have struggled more to enforce them. 

“In Kenya… it has been very effective. Still you have some plastic smuggled from neighbouring countries” like Uganda, he said.

Kenya’s 2017 plastic ban imposed particularly harsh laws, with fines of up to $38,000 and four-year prison sentences.

However, in reality, while there have been waves of arrests, fines, and jail terms have been far less than proscribed.

Mwesigye said some countries put bans in place before ensuring there were suitable alternatives in place, while monitoring and practical enforcement were also a challenge.

Scourge of single-use plastics –

Joyce Msuya, UNEP’s Acting Executive Director, praised Tanzania for joining the nations implementing the ban.

“It is critical that bans now be complemented by efforts to identify effective alternatives to single-use plastics…”

The world currently produces more than 300 million tonnes of plastics annually, and there are, at least, five trillion plastic pieces floating in oceans, scientists have estimated.

Your Friends Also Read:  Court in Burkina Faso jails 2 generals over 2015 coup

Most of the items polluting oceans and landscapes and causing horrendous deaths for the creatures that live there, are made to be used once and thrown away, such as bags, straws and food packaging.

In March, nations failed to agree to a timetable to phase out all single-use plastics, opting instead to “significantly reduce” their production.

Neither the United States, Canada or Australia have national plastic bag regulations -although some American states like Hawaii or California have implemented bans.

The European Union, in March, voted to ban a dozen forms of single-use plastics from 2021.


All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.

Contact: digital@newscentral.ng

Total
0
Shares

Leave a Reply

Previous Article
efcc snake nigeria

Suspects who claimed snake ate millions of naira in Nigeria charged with fraud

Next Article
AU deepens co-operation with Huawei on ICT infrastructure development

African Union partners Huawei on ICT infrastructure development

Related Posts
Powered by Live Score & Live Score App