Tanzanian Government has warned travelers entering the country not to carry unauthorized plastic bags effective June 1.“All plastic carrier bags, regardless of their thickness will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used in mainland Tanzania,” read part of the statement from the Office of the Vice President of Tanzania.However, the statement further noted that there are selected plastics and plastic bags exempted from the ban.

“Plastic or plastic packaging for medical services industrial products construction industry agricultural sector foodstuff will not be prohibited,” said the statement.Visitors to the East African country were advised to avoid carrying plastic carrier bags or packaging carrier bags or items in plastic carrier bags in the suitcase or hand luggage before embarking on a visit to Tanzania.

Dodoma said that the move is an implementation of a policy aimed at solving environmental pollution drawn from uses of plastics.Special desks will be designated at all entry points where such banned plastic materials will be surrendered, the statement added.Plastic carrier items known as “ziplo 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 government does not intend for visitors to Tanzania to find their stay unpleasant as we enforce the ban. However, the government expects that, in appreciation of the imperative to protect the environment and keep our country clean and beautiful, our visitors will accept minor inconveniences resulting from this plastic bags ban,” the statement reads in part.By effecting the ban, Tanzania now joins Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi in mitigating the effects of plastic bags waste.

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