Africa: After Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Congo, Nigeria moves to ban plastic bags

Tanzania plastic

Nigeria has taken a step to joining the growing list of countries banning the use of plastic bags in the country.

According to dailypost.ng, the nation’s House of Representatives, Tuesday, passed a bill prohibiting the use of plastic bags by individuals and manufacturing companies in the country.

It also addressed waste management and protection of the environment.

According to the bill, any person found guilty of the offences above shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding N500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

It also prescribes a fine of N5 million to companies guilty of the aforementioned offences.
This development followed the consideration of a bill sponsored by Hon. Edward Pwajok.

The Plastic bag prohibition bill provides for: “an act to prohibit the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging in order to address harmful impacts to oceans, rivers, lakes, forests, environment as well as human beings and also to relieve pressure on landfills and waste management and for other related matters.”

The bill states that a retailer shall offer a paper bag to the customer at a point of sale.

It also added that it was an offence to fail to provide customers with paper bags.

The bill emphasised that manufacturing plastic bags for the purpose of selling, and importing plastic bags whether as a carryout bag or for sale amounts to an offence.

Tanzania recently commenced the process of enforcing the prohibition of the use of plastic bags in country.

According to atqnews.com, the government said from 1st June 2019, all plastic carrier bags, regardless of their thickness will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used in Mainland Tanzania.

The Government which issued a notice to would be travellers to the country through its communication unit, however, stated that plastic or plastic packaging for medical services, industrial products, construction industry, agriculture sector, foodstuff, sanitary and waste management are not prohibited.

A decade ago, Rwanda became the first African country to pioneer the ban of plastic bags in the country speared headed by Rwanda’s Environment Ministry Authority.

Also, other Africa countries like Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo have also prohibited the use of plastic bags in their countries to fight pollution.

According to atqnews.com, a year after it introduced the ban on the use of plastic bags, Kenya launched the world’s first 100% recycled marine plastic and flip-flop boat into the Indian Ocean.

The project is aptly named the Flipflopi Project, due to its construction using thousands of repurposed flip-flops and ocean plastic collected on beach clean-ups along the Kenya coast.

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