Tanzania: ‘Substitutes for Plastic Bags to Meet Demand’


MANUFACTURERS of substitutes for plastic carrier bags have allayed fears over a shortage of the products, assuring members of the public that they have the capacity to meet demand.

They told Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment), January Makamba during his tour of substitute bag producers in Dar es Salaam on Monday that the ban on plastic carrier bag had improved their businesses because production had increased three-to-four times more compared to the period before the ban.

Africa Paper Bags Industrial Limited Assistant Director, Hasnain Mawrji said the factory had to procure more machines following an increase in product demand. “We are producing 500,000 pieces of various types of alternative bags, equal to 100 tonnes per month.

Our target is to reach 1,000,000/- of them after the arrival of new machines in two weeks,” said the assistant director. He said apart from economic benefit of producers, the ban also helped create more jobs as the technology of manufacturing alternative bags needed more human resources.

“Before Africa Paper Bags Industrial Limited had only 30 employees, but the number doubled after the government imposed the ban,” said Mr Mawrji. The same applied to Green Earth Paper Product (GEPP), whose number of employees had increased four times from five to 20, according to the company’s director, Mr Robert Seraphin.

He said the ability to meet demand depended on the availability of raw materials and the application of the new technology for substitutes manufacturing as well as adequate manpower, among others. However, the director appealed for a continued public awareness campaign on where the substitutes were available, a situation that, among other things, would set free people to choose the products they wanted.

“After the plastic ban, we had been compelled to buy other machines due to an increase in paper bag orders. We are now producing two tonnes a day, but our capacity is three times,” he said.

He called on the government to put in place standards for the substitutes to control fake products in the market, while promoting competition among manufacturers.

Mr Makamba said setting new standards, laws and regulations were part of the government’s efforts to support the manufacturers of substitutes for plastic carrier bags. He commended the work done by factories, saying an increase in production not only benefited them, but also the government as there was also an increase in revenue collection and many more benefits.

Mr Makamba noted that about 80 investors had emerged to engage in alternative bag businesses and the ban enforcement had been successful.

“The government will continue supporting manufacturers of substitutes for plastic bags to ensure there is no shortage. We are also thankful that members of the public have responded well to make the campaign successful,” said the minister.

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Publish date : 2019-06-05 11:16:33

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