Production of alternative carrier bags

22Jun 2019
Felix Andrew
The Guardian
Production of alternative carrier bags

THE government has issued production prerequisite for manufacturers, distributors and importers of non- woven carrier bags that would enable them to conduct their business without any problem.

Speaking to reporters yesterday in Dar es Salaam the Director General of Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) Dr Yusuf Ngenya, mentioned the requirements as gram per square meter (GSM70).

He said the bags should be recyclable, must show trade mark, carrying capacity and certified by the Standards watchdog.

He said that no non–woven carrier bags would be imported or produced in the country without sticking to the stipulated requirements.

Dr Ngenya warned all manufacturers who would continue to produce, distribute or import the carrier bags without following required procedure.

“TBS would not hesitate to take stern measures against those who will disobey to follow the requirements immediately,” he said.

According to him, the organisation has already convened a meeting with manufacturers of the specific bags to inform them on the new requirements.

Last month the Standards Watchdog introduced new standards for alternative plastic carrier bags urging all manufacturers to adhere to new regulation.

The newly standards which are TZS 2292: 2018 and TZS 2130: 2018 were introduced by TBS early this year.

The standards which fall on compulsory requirement were introduced before the government decision to ban plastic carrier bags.

"We urge manufacturers of alternative plastic carrier bags to adhere to the new standards for their benefit, TBS Acting Director General Lazaro Msasalaga as quoted as saying.

He said the officials of the Standards Watchdog will launch a crackdown to nab all manufacturers who would not adhere to the new standards.

Msasalaga revealed that already TBS has suspended licences for plastic materials used in packaging.

He said they have also stopped receiving new applications for plastic materials manufacturing licences.

Statistics shows, TBS had a list of more than 1,700 manufacturers who had been licenced to manufacture plastic carrier bags before it was banned by the government early this month.

Already the government has formed eight organs that would take part in crackdown to arrest people involved in illegal business.

The government announced the ban on the plastic carrier bags effective 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 Shilling 20m/- should they defy 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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