The government has said the use of plastic carrier bags will be banned by December 2022, with retail outlets urged to find environment-friendly alternatives.
The ban is meant to protect the environment from plastic bag pollution as they are not recyclable.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA)’s director for environmental management, Steady Kangata, said the use of plastic carrier bags would be phased out by December next year.
In a letter to one P Rambanepasi of Retailers Association of Zimbabwe, dated November 12, Kangata said:
Globally, plastic waste has become a menace, hence the need to reduce the use of plastics. Ema is, therefore, taking steps towards the phase out of plastic carrier bags. We are encouraging your affiliate members to consider alternative non-plastic carrier bags which are environmentally friendly.
Plastic carrier bags are set to be phased out by the end of December 2022. We appreciate efforts by some of your members who have already started promoting (the use) of alternative bags. A green economy is the way to go and your co-operation in this regard is greatly appreciated.
A number of countries have already banned plastic bags for the safety of the environment.
A few years ago, Zimbabwe banned the use of kaylites after they had turned out to be the leading pollutants of the environment.
Nevertheless, backyard restaurants are still using kaylites to package food.
EMA claimed that the use of plastic food containers exposed people to cancer and plastic blocks the country’s drainage and sewer systems, especially during the rainy season.
Meanwhile, plastic production in the world is forecast to double by 2040 and may account for 20% of the world’s oil production by 2050.