Apr 10 - Tanzania Announces A Thin Bag Ban

With scientists warning that the glaciers of Mount Kilamanjaro may only last another 15 years due to environmental damage, Tanzania has decided to act to preserve its national treasure. On April first, the vice president introduced a set of policies that included the banning of most plastic bags:

"The Tanzanian Government has taken a step further than many of its African neighbours and introduced an outright ban on disposable plastic bags… Announced as part of a package of environmental policies on Saturday by Vice President Ali Shein, the tax prohibits the use, sale, manufacturing or import of bags of a thickness between 30 and 65 microns."

Other policies addressed in the full article include illegal mining, squatting and deforestation. The Scotsman noted the Mount Kilamanjaro warning. Another report stated that 10,000 tons of plastic bags were annually thrown away in the capitol of neighboring Uganda, while California, in contrast, throws away 147,000 tons of plastic grocery checkout bags a year. Tanzania joins the many countries addressing plastic bags such as Ireland and South Africa; even France recently passed legislation, now awaiting EU- approval.

In California, the recent legislation of AB 2449 proposed by Assembly Member Lloyd Levine aims to cut plastic grocery checkout bag waste in half, looking to decrease the costs that recyclers, cities and taxpayers endure dealing with plastic bag waste.