Government bans use of plastic drinking straws

11Oct 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Government bans use of plastic drinking straws

​​​​​​​THE Minister of State in the Vice president’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment), Selemani Jafo has banned the use of plastic drinking straws and soft plastic covers on caps for soft drinks and mineral water bottles.

The ban will take effect after six months from today, October 11.

Jafo issued the banning order in Dar es Salaam at the weekend as he was addressing reporters at the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) offices.

He said these plastic items are hazardous to the environment because it has been proved that they are unrecyclable and are widespread thereby endangering human lives and other living things including birds, animals and plants.

“In the circumstances, we have taken stern measures and given six months beginning October 11 this month after which we do not expect to see them being manufactured, and instruct soft drinks manufacturers not to fix the soft plastic on bottles,” Jafo said and added that imports thereof will also not be allowed.

He said his ministry’s responsibility is to protect the environment and NEMC is the one given the mandate to oversee environment protection through various government guidelines being given including the 2019 ban of plastic bags, the implementation of which was very successful.

“The plastic straws are unrecyclable and those picking them from trash bins are now not picking them resulting in their piling up in the streets.

“Some countries have already banned their manufacture but they are exporting them to us when they do not use them themselves, hence we have decided to ban them as well,” added Jafo.

He said all items manufactured before coming of the banning order and of which expiry dates have not passed, will remain in the market until the dates of their expiry.

“Our directives are very clear, items that have already been manufactured will remain in the market, but after six months - NO,” he stressed.

He said some people have begun grabbing the opportunity from the banning order by manufacturing drinking straws that can be recycled as an alternative to plastic.