Tanzania: Ecological Plastic Bags Option Likely

THE University of Dar es salaam (UDSM) is in the final stages of fabricating ecological plastic bags which decompose and which are of less harm to the environment in a first scientific discovery aimed at replacing the polyethylene plastic bags which are hazardous to animal, human and ecosystem.

Professor Abraham Temu of the UDSM's College of Engineering and Technology (COET) explained that the new type of the biodegradable plastic bag discovery, was at a considerably good stage.

He said it would be produced from sisal remains, by using sisal plant itself and leaves which are put to waste during the production of fiber, which takes only 2 per cent of the whole crop.

"After fiber is extracted from sisal leaves which takes only 2 per cent, the remaining 98 is wasted; we are trying to discover and give it another use which is environmentally friendly," Said Prof Temu in an interview with the 'Daily News'.

He said that even though the project was facing some financial difficulties, he was optimistic that the goal would eventually be attained in the near future.

"We have already refined and got good results, the next stage will be moulding and coming up with the final decomposable plastic product," he further explained.

The revelation of the discovery of decomposable plastic bags comes a few days after the government set May 31 as the deadline for manufacturing and selling plastic bags.

"As of June 1, it will be embargoed to manufacture, import, sell or use plastic bags for carrying and storing anything in Tanzania," Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told the country's lawmakers in Dodoma early last week.

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