Tanzania bans plastic bags to curb pollution

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Tanzania is the latest East African nation to implement a ban on plastic bags in a bid to clean up the environment.

Under new measures, anyone caught using plastic bags faces fines and companies found to be manufacturing non-biodegradable plastic bags could see those found guilty facing jail time. The move follows similar steps taken by Kenya and Rwanda in efforts to curb pollution.

Tanzania bans plastic bags

Environmentalists have welcomed Tanzania’s ban on plastic bags, which enforces strict punishments against those breaking the new rules. Individuals caught using plastic bags can be hit with an on-the-spot $13 fine and the manufacturing of plastic bags can lead to $400,000 and prison sentences of up to two years.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) welcomed the ban, calling plastic “a silent killer of our natural environment.”

Rwanda was the first East African nation to implement a ban on plastic bags more than a decade ago. The move has been a great success in the small nation although the country had a relatively low use of plastic compared to other countries, even before the ban was implemented.

In 2017, Kenya introduced one of the world’s strictest bans on plastic bags with fines of up to $38,000 and prison sentences of up to four years for a single offence. Kenya’s ban has also been largely successful, despite a much wider use of plastics than Rwanda had to deal with more than a decade ago and environmental groups hope Tanzania is going to enjoy similar success.

Featured image: By MichaelisScientists – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48418056

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.