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Apr 20, 2016

Total ban imposed on plastic bags, says Makamba

THE government has imposed total ban on the use of plastic bags by January next year, the Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment), Mr January Makamba, told the National Assembly here yesterday.
He was answering a supplementary question by Edward Mwalongo (Njombe Urban-CCM) who wanted to know when the Regional Administration and Local Government would sit with stakeholders to discuss environment pollution caused by plastic bags.
The minister pointed out that they were discussing with several stakeholders on the issue to ensure that January next year be the end of use of plastic bags in the country.
Earlier, the Deputy Minister, Mr Luhaga Mpina, while responding to the basic question by the lawmaker, stressed that stern measures would be taken against persons who would violate the laws.
He went extra miles by warning industries that they would face serious measures, notably being closed down if they would be founds continuing with manufacturing of the banned plastic bags.
In his basic question, Mr Mwalongo pointed out that environmental pollution caused by plastic bags was in a large scale in the country. He, therefore, wanted to know whether time has come for total ban of use of the plastic bags.
He also sought to know whether it was imperative for the government to empower environmental stakeholders by purchasing for them machines on credit basis to enable them refine such plastics and make them solid and more suitable.
Mr Mpina pointed out that the government sees the need of imposing ban on the use of plastic bags in the country.
According to him, in implementing such plan, the government went through afresh the 2006 regulations on the production, importation, sale, purchase and use of plastic bags, which restricted the use of such bags that were below 30 microns.
Therefore, the deputy minister said, it was decided to prepare new regulations of 2015, which repealed those of 2006 by putting in place new standard of plastic bags and packages at 50 micron, which could be disposed of easily.
Apart from increasing such standards, the new regulations also restrict the establishment of new industries for manufacturing plastic bags and associated packages and also importation of such bags below the standard set under the regulations.
Such measure, the deputy minister said, was initial step towards imposition of total ban on the production and use of plastic bags and packages in the country having taken into consideration stakeholders’ views.

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