Tanzania plans to ban the production, importation, sale and use of all single-use plastic bags by July, to help tackle pollution from non-biodegradable waste, the Environment Minister January Makamba told Parliament on Monday.
Tanzania is the latest country to make a formal commitment to phase out single-use non-biodegradable plastics, which have been identified by the United Nations as one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges.
According to UN estimates, of the nine billion tonnes of plastic the world has produced, only 9 per cent has been recycled.
Tanzania will join over 60 other countries that have banned, partly banned or taxed single-use plastic bags, including China, France, Kenya, Rwanda and Italy.
In August 2017, neighbouring Kenya introduced one of the world’s toughest bans on plastic bags mandating four years in prison or a fine of 40,000 dollars for even using one.
“The regulations are ready for publication it is possible that July 1 will mark the end of the use of plastics in the country,” Makamba told Parliament.
Makamba said a formal announcement on the ban of single-use plastic bags in Tanzania would likely be made later this month.