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Visitors in Tanzania warned against carrying plastic bags

THE government yesterday issued a notice to travellers visiting the country to avoid carrying plastic bags with them starting June 1, this year. According to a press statement released by the Vice President Office (VPO) communication unit, all plastic carrier bags will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied or used in mainland Tanzania.

“Tanzania wishes to make an official note to travellers planning to visit Tanzania, that from 1st June 2019, all plastic carrier bags, regardless of their thickness, will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied or used in Mainland Tanzania,” reads part of the statement.

However, it added that plastic or plastic packaging for medical services, industrial products, construction industry, agricultural sector, foodstuff, sanitary and waste management are not prohibited.

“Visitors to Tanzania are advised to avoid carrying plastic carrier bags or packing plastic carrier bags or items in plastic carrier bags in their suitcases or hand luggage before embarking on a visit to Tanzania.

A special desk will be designated at all entry points for surrender of plastics carrier bags that visitors may be bringing into Tanzania,” it reads. According to the VPO, plastic carrier items known as “ziploc bags” that are specifically used to carry toiletries will be permitted as they are expected to remain in the permanent possession of visitors and are not expected to be disposed in the country.

The statement clarified that the government does not intend for visitors to Tanzania to find their stay unpleasant as the ban is enforced. However, according to the statement, the government expects that in appreciation of the imperative to protect the environment and keep the country clean and beautiful, visitors will accept minor inconveniences resulting from the plastic bags ban.

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Author: By NELLY MTEMA and KATARE MBASHIRU

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