Tanzania has joined the list of African countries that have banned the import, manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol contained in plastic bags.
The government announced the ban on Wednesday (March 1, 2017), with the dual objective of protecting youth and the environment.
The decision, which has been announced for several months, “comes into force on Wednesday 1 March in all provinces,” Environment Minister Jan Makamba said in a statement.
These small sachets containing all kinds of alcoholic drinks pollute the environment because they are thrown away after consumption. They are also a public health problem, as they are very consumed by young people.
Easily concealed in pockets of trousers or school bags, they easily enter classrooms. In some schools, one can see young students “suck”, between two courses, bags of 50 milliliters.
The drinks are largely cheap – some brands going for a quarter dollar. Reports indicate that some are selling in some places better than sodas. After drinking them, patrons often throw the empty sachets on the roads and into the sewers or vacant lots.
The ban was announced last year by the government, some businessmen who are into the import and sale kicked against it but it has been welcomed by Tanzanians, especially parents, teachers and religious leaders .
The most recent African country to have ban it was Ivory Coast. Senegal, Malawi and Rwanda, have already taken similar measures.