Dodoma. The government plans to ban plastic use on July 1.
That was said by the minister for State in the Vice President's Office (Union and Environment), Mr January Makamba, during a question-and-answer session in Parliament today, April 8.
He was responding to a question by Kaliua MP Magdalena Sakaya (CUF) who sought to know the government's strategies to end the use of plastic bags.
In her supplementary question Ms Sakaya said: “There is no political on a plan to ban plastic use. Zanzibar, Rwanda and Kenya have banned them. Why not us?"
She said over the years, the government had been talking about banning plastic bags, but they were still being used in markets."Dirt litters streets, threatening the environment.”
According to Mr Makamba, he has been directed by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa this week to discuss the matter with responsible authorities such as the National Environment Management Council, Tanzania Bureau of Standards, Tanzania Revenue Authority, Immigration, Customs and police.
"I have regulations for enforcing the ban on plastic bags. We are just waiting for them to be gazette."
Responding to a question earlier, deputy minister Mussa Sima said the government had been taking various measures to phase out the use of plastic bags in favour of paper bags, which are friendly to the environment.
He said the Vice President's Office was encouraging the private sector to invest in environment-friendly bags.
"The Vice President's Office held two stakeholders’ meetings in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza last November and December respectively to discuss the impact of the use of plastic bags and promote investment in paper bags," said Mr Sima.