Mwanza. The National Environmental Management Council (Nemc) has destroyed over two million sub-standard alternative carrier bags as the environmental watchdog seeks to entrench its move aimed at protecting the environment.
The destroyed bags were manufactured by Jin Yuan Investment Industry. It also destroyed eight sacks of packaging materials imported illegally.
Nemc director general Samuel Gwamaka said the measure was meant to send a warning to other producers and importers to adhere to the rules of manufacturing, including ensuring that the weight of each bag is no less than 70gsm, which is the set standard. “Our target is to protect local factories and ensure they get a priority in the market, but this seems not work as some manufacturers continue to violate the standards set by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) of 70gsm,” Dr Gwamaka said.
He added that such a violation drag back efforts towards control of imported alternative bags. “If all the producers were to adhere to the set standards and label their products, the work of identifying poor quality bags would be simplified and the authority would easily be able to pin down all the culprits,” he said.
He urged Tanzanians to shun the purchase and use of bags that have no label, adding that by so doing they would be contributing towards economic sabotage, asking them further to report those who use such bags.
In another development, Nemc has called on all the penalised producers of bags to make sure that they pay fines within the set deadlines and destroy goods or undertake recycling to meet standards.
Nemc board member Damas Masologo said the council’s main objective was to protect environment and not to shut down factories, adding that advocacy would continue for investors to be conversant with the country’s laws and regulations on environment.