LUSAKA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Zambia's environmental regulator on Wednesday said the ban on plastic carrier bags does not apply to all forms of plastics.
On Monday, Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Permanent Secretary Edward Chomba announced the coming into force of the extended producer responsibilities law which has stipulated provisions on the use of plastic bags and other related packaging materials.
However, there have been various reports that the law entails the ban on use of all plastic carrier bags.
But the Zambia Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) said not all plastic carrier bags have been banned as the ban only affects bags below 30 microns in thickness.
"This will be enforced in line with the national standard developed by the Zambia Bureau of Standards which covers plastic carrier bags and flat bags, both domestically produced and imported, for use within Zambia," the regulator said in a statement.
According to the statement, the new regulation was meant to promote a cleaner environment as the carrier bags should be made from degradable plastic film which totally degrade within a period of 12-24 months and that it will promote re-use, recovery or recycling of waste.
The phasing out of the plastics will however be done gradually as the government was still in discussion with stakeholders on how the regulation would be managed.