By Paidashe Mandivengerei
ZIMBABWE has scaled up efforts to introduce a green economy with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) revealing plans to eliminate the use of plastic carrier bags by December 2022.
Plastic carrier bags take years to decompose and end up as deadly waste in landfills and water bodies. They also harm animals with toxic debris, damaging the ecosystem.
The phasing out of the non-biodegradable plastics will ensure the preservation of the environment.
In a communique directed to Retailers Association of Zimbabwe and Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, EMA director Steady Kangata urged retailers to look into using environment-friendly carrier bags.
He wrote: “Globally, plastic waste has become a menace and hence the need to reduce the use of plastic. The Environmental Management Agency is therefore taking steps towards the phase-out of plastic carrier bags.
“We are encouraging your affiliate members to consider alternative non-plastic carrier bags which are environmentally friendly. Plastic carrier bags are set to be phased out by the end of December 2022.”
Kangata went on to thank retailers which have started using alternative non-plastic bags. In Zimbabwe, retail outlets are a major source of plastic carrier bags which are used by their customers to carry groceries.
He added that a green economy that curbs climate change effects is the safest way to protect the environment.
A green economy allows reduced carbon emissions and pollution, prevents loss of biodiversity while protecting the ecosystem.
“We appreciate efforts by some of your members who have already started promoting alternative bags. A green economy is the way to go and your cooperation in this regard is greatly appreciated.”