East Africa plans to ban use of plastics

10 February 2012

The East African Community (EAC) partner states have moved closer to a total ban on the use of plastics, after a regional legislative body passed a new law banning their use in the region. The East African Legislative Assembly passed the EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill 2011 that is now renamed ‘The East African Community Plastic Control Bill’ last week.
The EAC is an intergovernmental organisation comprising the five east African countries Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Bill was sponsored by Rwandan lawmaker Patricia Hajabakiga. She said the Bill would provide a legal framework for the preservation of a clean and healthy environment through the prohibition of manufacturing, sale, importation and use of polythene materials. Justifying the move, Hajabakiga said the Bill was intended to control the use of polythenes while advocating the total ban of plastics. She cited dangers of plastics and polythene materials, including soil degradation through burning of wastes, harmful emissions of toxics, and the endangering of human and animal lives (PackagingNews, 9 February 2012).