Tanzania: Nemc Calls for Views Ahead of December's Plastic Packaging Ban

AS December 31, this year, is the deadline for plastic packaging, the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) calls for interested parties to present their views and advice to the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).

Banned packaging includes tubing, bottles and the type used by vendors to store different products like peanuts and cashew nuts.

A statement issued to the media by NEMC at the weekend says since the ban on production, distribution and use of plastic bags took effect on June 30, 2019, there has been an increase in the use of alternative plastic packaging.

The statement notes that plastic packaging poses a threat to the environment and public health.

"The intention is good and the goals are quite clear as they are meant to ensure the law and procedures relating to the environment are protected and adhered to... we anticipate that producers who are going to be affected will present their concerns," notes the statement.

According to the statement, there is massive production of plastic packaging from unidentified sources contrary to TBS, which is very dangerous to both the environment and people.

Equally, producing, distributing and using unauthorised packaging is contrary to the Plastics Carrier Bags Regulations, 2019 No 3 and 4 of the Environment Act of 2004.

Whereas, guideline No 3 requires producers to obtain a permit from TBS after qualifying, what is being witnessed is contrary to this provision.

It is also contrary to guideline No 4(b) and (c) in the protection of people's lives, animals and the management of the environment against any unintended effects.

NEMC as the responsible body overseeing issues relating to the environment will not tolerate any arbitrary production of plastic packaging which is not in line with environmental guidelines and procedures.

The statement provides further that about 2,761 groups have been organised for making alternative carrier bags.

In light of this, NEMC has embarked on a number of public awareness initiatives on the importance of using alternative carrier bags.

NEMC calls on members of the public to notify it of any illegal production of packaging so that legal action could be taken against the culprits.

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