FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) ON THE GAZETTE NOTICE ON BAN ON THE USE, MANUFACTURE AND IMPORTATION OF PLASTIC BAGS
Question 1: Which plastics have been banned?
Answer: The ban applies to all plastic carrier bags and flat bags used for commercial and household packaging.
Question 2: What is a plastic carrier bag?
Answer: This is a single-use plastic bag constructed with handles and may have a gusset or not.
Question 3: What is a flat bag?
Answer: A flat bag is a plastic bag constructed without handles and may have a gusset or not.
Question 4: What are the major concerns of plastics bags?
Answer: Plastic bags are usually manufactured for single use and generally tear or puncture after a first use. They are easily transported by the wind and are some of the most visible components of roadside and shoreline litter. Plastic bags are produced from oil and natural gas, and never fully biodegrade, remaining in the environment as small or even microscopic particles, essentially forever.
Question 5: Are plastics used for primary industrial packaging also banned by the Gazette Notice?
Answer: NO. The Ban does not apply to plastics used in primary industrial packaging in accordance with approved packaging standards.
Question 6: When are manufacturers and importers required to stop providing plastic single-use carrier bags to customers?
Answer: By August 28th, 2017. Furthermore, all manufacturers and importers shall declare all their remaining stocks by the due date to the National Environment Management Authority for necessary action.
Question 7: Will exporters of plastic single-use carrier bags continue to manufacture the bags?
Answer: NO. The manufacturing of all plastic carrier bags shall cease by 28th August 2017.
Question 8: Will there be a “grace period” for retailers to comply?
Answer: The Gazette Notice was published on 28th February 2017, allowing six (6) months grace period for necessary adjustments and compliance.
Question 9: Are retailers allowed to use up existing stocks of plastic bags after August 28th, 2017?
Answer: No, retailers are required to clear stocks within the grace period. Furthermore, all retailers shall declare all the remaining stocks by the due date to the National Environment Management Authority for necessary action.
Question 10: Can retailers provide paper bags as an alternative to plastic carrier bags?
Question 11: What are the alternatives to plastic carrier bags?
Answer: These include paper bags; clothing bags; canvas bags; sisal bags; papyrus bags and buyers/shoppers own shopping bags.
Question 12: Which retailers are affected?
Answer: All Retailers
Question 13: Are small retail businesses exempt?
Question 14: Does the Ban prohibit retailers from selling plastic bags such as garbage bags?
Question 15: Is there an exemption for clothing stores?
Answer: No. Exemptions apply to only primary industrial packaging which is in accordance with approved standards as indicated in 5 above.