Others at the meeting supported a total ban and called for a change in direction to ‘save lives and to protect the environment.’
In August 2016, the Vice President’s office issued a statement listing a long series of grievances against plastic bags: their impact on soil quality, nuisance of general litter, blocking of drains and causing floods, damage to ecosystems, death of animals which accidentally consume plastic materials, endangering human health when used to contain hot foods, poisonous gasses released when used as a fire starter, and air pollution when burned.
Men burn plastic bags outside the Ocean Road Cancer Institute during a national cleanup in 2015. As Tanzania mulls a total ban on plastic bags, manufacturers hope for the middle-ground while others say a total ban is necessary to save lives. Photo: Daniel Hayduk
Whenever the ban does come into effect, it is expected there will be an amnesty period after which the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) will conduct spot checks with on-the-spot fines for businesses not adhering to the ban.