NEMC and TBS warn manufacturers, importers of prohibited plastic bags

19Aug 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
NEMC and TBS warn manufacturers, importers of prohibited plastic bags

THE Environmental Management Council (NEMC) and Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) have called on traders who have been importing the banned plastic carrier bags to stop doing so warning them of stern measures against them.

National Environment Management Council director general Dr Samuel Gwamaka briefs journalists in Dar es Salaam at the weekend on ways to handle manufacturers, importers and distributors of banned plastic shopping or carrier bags. Right is his Tanzania Bureau of Standards counterpart, Dr Yusuf Ngenya. Photo: Guardian Correspondent

The two institutions issued the joint statement during the weekend that they would not hesitate to take stern measures against those who are disobeying to follow the set legal requirements on plastic bags ban.

NEMC director general Dr Samuel Gwamaka said that there are some dishonest traders who have continued to import plastic carrier bags using illegal ways.

“We are sending a warning to all manufactures; importers and distributors in neighboring countries to o adhere to the new standards for their benefits, those who will violate the law requirements should be ready to face the consequences,” he said.

According to him, the council has dragged to court some officials who were found collaborating with the traders to import illegal plastics bangs into the country.

He said that at least 56 distributors have been punished by paying fines and issued with warnings.

“The ongoing operations in various borders had also started to pay fruit  as in Mbeya a total of 15 tonnes of the banned plastic bags had found,” he added.

For his part, TBS director general Dr Yusuf Ngenya mentioned some of the criteria for the alternative carrier bags that they must show trade mark, gram per square meter (GSM70), should be recyclable, carrying capacity and certified by the standards watchdog.   

“It is my plea to all manufacturers to speed up production of the alternative bags and those traders importing the bags to increase the number but make sure that the products have all the required qualities,” he said.

The government announced the ban on the plastic carrier bags effective from June 1, this year, citing biodegradability of plastic bags, which can last 10 to 20 years in marine environment or more on the ground, leading to deadly pollution of the atmosphere.

It said importers and exporters of plastic carrier bags that have been banned by the government will be entitled to a fine of up   20m/- should they defy the directives.

In his 2019 budget speech in the National Assembly, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, announced May 31st 2019 as the last day to use plastic bags in the country, saying no one will be allowed to manufacture, import, sell or use the plastic bags.

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