East African states move to ban plastics

Kampala, Uganda (PANA) - Five East African countries - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania - have moved closer to a total ban on the use of plastics, after a regional legislative body passed a new law banning their use.

The East African Community (EAC) law-making body, East African Legislative Assembly, sitting in Kampala, Uganda, said the regional parliament passed the EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill, 2011 late on Thursday.

The bill will become an Act of the Community once the East African Heads of State sign it into law.

If any of the Heads of state of the member countries fails to sign the bill, it will be sent back to the legislative assembly.

The Bill was sponsored by Rwandan lawmaker Patricia Hajabakiga, to provide a legal framework for the preservation of a clean and healthy environment through the prohibition of manufacturing, sale, importation and use of polythene materials.

Justifying the move to have the regional law in place, Hajabakiga said the Bill was intended to control the use of polythenes while advocating the total ban of plastics.  

She cited dangers of plastics and polythene materials, including soil degradation through burning of wastes, harmful emissions of toxics and the endangering of human and animal lives.  

Countries such as Bangladesh, Botswana, Israel, Rwanda and France among others have since enacted a similar law, Hon Hajabakiga said.

The Bill shall now go through the succeeding stages of assent, with the Speaker of the Assembly expected to submit the amended copies to the Heads of State for assent.  
-0- PANA AO/SEG 3Feb2012

03 february 2012 13:09:53




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