Minister stays plastic wrappers for 90 days

09Jan 2021
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Minister stays plastic wrappers for 90 days

MANUFACTURERS and retailers have three months to phase out all unqualified wrappings, the government declared yesterday.

Ummy Mwalimu,  the Minister of State in the Vice President's Office (Union and Environment), said here yesterday that the decision to extend the deadline for phasing out all plastic wrappings was in favour of small-scale entrepreneurs might have large cargo in their stores.

 "The government will not issue another statement after the grace period," she asserted, elaborating that at that point a countrywide crackdown will be commissioned.

The decision by the government is part of a regional plan to phase out plastic bags. Countries such as Kenya and Rwanda in the East African Community are also implementing the plan to phase out all non-biodegradable plastics, the ministry affirms.

 Dr Samuel Gwamaka, the director general of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) says that the 2019 legislation on which the directive is based imposes a two-year prison sentence or a fine of up to $400,000 for manufacturing or stocking, while an individual found carrying a bag can be fined 30,000/- on the spot.

The earlier deadline elapsed on December 31for the production, sale and use of plastic wrappers, with retailers and manufacturers increasingly producing a different facet of plastic bags enabling edible products to be viewed or inspected transparently from the outside.

 The minister said that once the deadline elapses, manufacturers, traders and customers will have to stop using the wrappers, plus single and double-use-plastic bags prohibited nearly two years ago.

 The June 2019 legislation criminalises the production, sale and use of plastic bags as part of efforts to tackle plastic menace in the hydrological cycle (impact of plastics in product use, disposal and conditions of the oceans and living creatures depending on the polluted sea environment) more on

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