07 June 2018

Botswana to ban plastic bags!

update (26 October 2018): Botswana postpones plastic bag ban until further notice! >>

The Government of Botswana is set to ban plastic carrier bags and plastic flat bags in Botswana from 01 November 2018. The ban will however not apply to the following for health and hygiene purposes:
  • Bread bag - this refers to plastic bags used for packaging bread
  • Plastic bin liner - refers to plastic bags used for lining refuse bins or refuse receptacles
  • Barrier bag - thin or flimsy plastic bag used to separate products at final point of sale
  • Plastic refuse bag - plastic bag designed for carrying waste
  • Primary packaging - refers to plastic packaging that is in direct contact with the product for purposes of containing the product during transportation or handling to the point of distribution or point of use.
Any person contravening the regulations on the prohibition of the plastic carrier bag and plastic flat bag will be committing an offence and will be liable to the following:
  • For a first offender, the plastic carrier bag or the flat bag will be confiscated.
  • For a second or subsequent offence the person will be liable to a fine not exceeding P5, 000.00 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 30 days or both.
The time in between until 01 November 2018 is to allow for the public and affected industries in Botswana to put in place environmentally friendly packaging systems or alternatives to the plastic bag. In Africa, Botswana will be following the footsteps of Rwanda and Kenya that have already banned plastic bags.
More information on the plastic ban can be found on the Government Gazette of 01 June 2018, Statutory Instrument no. 74 of 2018, Waste Management (Plastic Carrier Bags and Plastic Flat Bags Prohibition) Regulations of 2018.

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