Plastic manufacturers, dealers in limbo ahead of deadline

By Muhammed Sailu Bah

Manufacturers and dealers have expressed concern regarding the uncertainty surrounding the type of plastic materials that will be affected by the ban which is taking effect on 1 July, as announced by the state.

As the count down is now left with 12 clear days, this reporter went round to get the views of those who produce and sell these plastic materials on how they are going to contend with the ban and what proposals or alternatives they have in place.

According to them, it is still not clear as to the specific plastic materials that are going to be affected by the ban as there are different types which include industrial packaging, shopping bags, water/juice packaging, etc.

An official in one of the plastic manufacturing industries said the distinction has to be made as to what is or is not affected or whether it is a blanket ban.

“We really want to know exactly what types of plastic bags are going to be affected by this announced ban,” he said.

His concern, he added, is that if the industrial packaging bags are banned, it will affect a lot of people. “Thousands of people are depending on the manufacture of these materials and earn income from it,” he said.

He explained that the industrial plastic bags can even be recycled. “Plastic recycling can help in controlling the environment from the dangers of plastics,” he said.

He said some countries in Africa have banned plastics but have also introduced alternatives.

Another economic operator who depends on plastic bags for packaging of drinking water also expressed concern regarding the ban. He said many people are engaged in self-employment and deriving their income from the use of plastic bags such as the women who sell ice blocks to the fish sellers and cold drinking water and juice. He also suggested that government should have considered an alternative that could have been a win-win situation for the environment and people doing petty business.

Foroyaa will contact the authorities to find out whether there is a distinction and or an alternative to replace plastics.