Tanzania has issued a total ban on polythene bags and cautioned people intending to travel to the country not to dare carry them effective June 1, 2019.
In a terse statement issued yesterday, Tanzanian authorities said: “All passengers arriving at any Tanzania airport including tourists can possibly face very heavy fines for using plastic bags in any way, shape or form. Using, manufacture or importation of plastic bags, including garbage bags and shopping bags is illegal. Offenders, including tourists, could face very heavy fines.”
The statement noted that visitors/citizens and residents alike are advised to avoid packing any plastic bags in their suitcases or in carry-on hand luggage before flying to Tanzania. I
It said further that items purchased at the airport before boarding the aircraft should be removed from plastic bags. Please check hand luggage before disembarking at entry points and any plastic bags should be left in the plane.
“Similarly the transparent “zip-lock” plastic bags that some airlines require passengers to use for keeping liquids, cosmetics, toiletries etc separately in hand luggage are also not permitted to be brought and should be removed and left on the plane before disembarking.”
Tanzania joins Rwanda in the league of countries within the East African Community (EAC) that have totally banned the use of polythene bags.
While Uganda indicated years ago that it would ban polythene bags, it has not yet fully implemented the decision.
Government ministries and agencies have often clashed over the proposed ban with the ministry of Trade urging caution saying a total ban could lead to unemployment.
But private institutions such as NBS TV have spearheaded a campaign to ban Kaveera and so far the signs are encouraging as a number of secondary schools and religious institutions have joined in.