AS the country moves towards the 1st June, 2019 plastic bags ban deadline, the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) in Dar es Salaam, yesterday, announced that during the interim period, District Officials will demarcate dumping areas with further warning that violators will risk a fine of up to 20m/-.
In an interview yesterday, the NEMC Director General (DG), Dr Samuel Gwamaka, said districts will allocate dumping areas of trashed plastic bags, where the public will be further well informed on next move.
He said that regulations made under the Environment Act of 2004, stipulate a 20m/- fine to a convicted importer and exporter of banned bags.
This includes production, storage and distribution, which will also attract a 10m/- fine, where selling will force one to pay 100,000/- as a fine, while a person, who will be seen carrying or using it will pay 30,000/- as a penalty," he pointed out.
However, Dr Gwamaka further said that the public should not worry about alternative bags, because production of substitute sacks was progressing well.
"At the moment we have 25 local industries producing paper bags, and other industries producing other types of alternative bags. Production of such bags is expected to increase in the very near future," he said.
The NEMC Director General noted further that the ban excludes plastic wrap ups of medicines, and edibles such as milk and cashew nuts.
"This will also exclude wrap ups of industrial, farm and construction products, but they must meet quality standards of the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS)," he added.
Dr Gwamaka said that any willing prospective investors should contact the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), NEMC, TBS, the Small Scale Industries Organisation (SIDO) for their expectations in the business, adding that a national task-force has been formed working under the Vice-President's Office to direct them.