We’ve had a lot of emails from our climbers asking about the ban on plastic bags in Tanzania. This follows the recent announcement by the government. You can find out more on this by reading our post on the ban on plastic bags in Tanzania,
The ban was due to take effect on 1 June.
A week later and the ban has indeed been introduced. But it appears that the government have thus far taken a softly-softly approach when it comes to enforcement. At least, they have as far as tourists are concerned.
There is a large sign at Kilimanjaro Airport that greets you as you enter the main airport building. The sign warns you that single-use plastic bags are not to be brought in the country. And there is a desk where you can leave behind any plastic bags you’ve ‘smuggled’ into the airport, deliberately or otherwise.
Those who’ve arrived since June 1st say that this is pretty much the only indications that this rule has actually come into effect. They have also told us that their bags were not searched by officers looking for ‘smuggled bags’.
So at the moment things appear to be much the same as they always have been. But, of course, this could just be a grace period before the authorities begin a crackdown on single-use plastic. They do, after all, have a reputation amongst their own citizens for being overly zealous. And this is particularly so when it comes to implementing their own rules. So while tourists are a vital and lucrative source of foreign exchange, we shouldn’t assume that this will give us immunity.
[One more thing: we need to correct a mistake from our earlier bulletin. You’ll notice on the ‘Notice to Travellers’ that we’ve reproduced above that ‘ziploc’ bags are allowed! This is because it is assumed that these are designed to be reusable and not left behind in the country.’ Apologies for any inconvenience we caused by getting this wrong the first time round.]