The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism would like to inform the public, business sector and other stakeholders that the Waste Management (Plastic Carrier Bag and Plastic Flat Bag Prohibition) Regulations, 2018 has been postponed until further notice. This means that the Plastic Bag ban will not effect on the 1st November 2018. The postponement is being done to allow further engagement on the implementation of the prohibition.
The Ministry will communicate any further developments regarding the plastic carrier bags and plastic flat bags prohibition as they occur.
The public, business sector and stakeholders are encouraged to continue with the good work that they had started to reduce the negative impact of plastic bags on the environment, water ways and on livestock in Botswana.
Negative impacts of the plastic carrier bags in the environment
a) Plastic have adverse impacts on human and animal health, for example, due to their impervious (water proof) characteristics, they serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other vermin.
Animals, for instance die from choking when they eat plastic bags. Moreover plastics are harmful to livestock when ingested as they disrupt the digestive process causing bloating and ultimately death of the animal, creating losses for farmers.
b) Plastics reduce the aesthetic value of the environment as they hang on trees and generally are widespread in the environment.
c) Plastic is not biodegradable hence once deposited in the soil and landfills it persists in the environment for a long period of time. In light of the above hazards presented by the plastic carrier bags the public is advised to be mindful and dispose of plastic bags in a manner beneficial to the environment and livestock.
Thato Y. Raphaka