Botswana will join Kenya and Rwanda in banning the plastic bag in an effort to reduce plastic waste.

The Botswanan Government has placed a ban on plastic bags, taking effect on 1 November 2018.

The use of plastic carrier bags and any plastic flat bags (clear bags with and without zip locks) will no longer be allowed in Botswana and it will be considered an offence if found with one.

The deputy director in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Frank Molebatsi stated that the decision to ban plastics was made following several attempts in the past to manage or control the proliferation of plastic carrier bags in the environment.

He said that in the past public education and awareness about the proper use of plastic bags to curb littering, promotion of its reduction, reuse, and recycling initiatives and development of compulsory standard (BOBS 186: 2006) regulated plastics based on their thickness.  However, all these measures never yielded positive and sustainable results, said Molebatsi.

Molebatsi also decried the danger of plastic bags in people’s daily lives.  He said plastic bags are non-biodegradable hence once deposited in the soil they stay in the environment for long periods.

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