Tanzania Bans Plastic Bags, Warns Travellers

The Tanzanian government has officially announced a ban on all plastic carrier bags according to a public notice to travellers planning to visit the east African nation.

The country's Vice President, Samia Suluhu, through the Government Communications Unit said authorities in TZ had resolved to ban plastic bags with effect from June 1.

"The Government of Tanzania wishes to make an official note to travellers planning to travel to Tanzania that from 1st June 2019 all plastic carrier bags, regardless of their thickness will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used in Mainland Tanzania," the statement reads in part.

"Visitors to Tanzania are advised to avoid carrying plastic carrier bags or packing plastic carrier bags or items in plastic carrier bags in the suitcase or hand luggage before embarking on visit to Tanzania. Special desk will be designed at all entry points for surrender of plastic carrier bags that visitors may be bringing into Tanzania.|"

However, the government explained that plastic or plastic packaging for medical services, industrial products, construction industry, agricultural sector, foodstuff, sanitary and waste management are not prohibited.

Three years ago, the government of Tanzania asked traders to prepare for full implementation of a plastics ban. Uganda had introduced a similar policy under former Finance Minister Saida Bbumba but didn't work. In Uganda the failed ban sought to protect environment from the dangers of plastic bags locally known as Kaveera.

The Government statement also indicated that plastics carrier items known as "Ziploc bags" that are specifically designed to carry toiletries will be permitted as they are expected to remain in the permanent possession of visitors and are not expected to be disposed of in the county.

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