15 April 2019

Tanzania: Makamba - Ban On Plastic Bags Not Spontaneous

Dar es Salaam — Minister for State in the Vice President's Office (Union Affairs and Environment) January Makamba today, April 15, 2019, dismissed reports saying that the government's decision to ban plastic bags use was spontaneous.

Speaking during a meeting, which brought together stakeholders and entrepreneurs in the production of environmentally friendly bags, Mr Makamba said people should be honest when commenting on matters of serious national interests.

"There were various meetings with various stakeholders prior to the decision [to ban the use of plastic bags]," said Mr Makamba at the meeting, which aimed at discussing investment opportunities available in the production of the alternative bags.

"We also held public hearings as the law directs us, so all stakeholders were involved."

Today's meeting, which took place at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC), comes within a week after the government announced its intention to enforce a total ban on the manufacturing, use or selling the plastic bags in the Tanzania Mainland.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told the Parliament on April 10 that the ban will come into force in June.

With only a two-month window within which to adjust to the expected shift in the business, manufacturers, traders dealing in the merchandise, vendors and other environment stakeholders charted out ways with which the ban can be successfully implemented.

They called for public campaigns to prepare the public for the change and support, in terms of capital, expertise and technology, to small and local entrepreneurs engaging in the production of environmentally friendly carrier bags.

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