Plastic bags could be banned in Namibia

14 Mar 2016 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 14 MAR (NAMPA) - Plastic bags could soon be banned in Namibia as the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) will hold dialogues at both community and national level to discuss requirements that could evolve into legislation on the ban of plastic bags.
Banning the use of plastic bags has health and environmental benefits, including reduced waste at landfill sites and a visibly clean landscape in the country. Wild animals would also not be exposed to the non-biodegradable material that apart from causing veterinary complications could cause an animal to choke to death.
MoHSS Permanent Secretary (PS), Andrew Mwoombola said in a media statement issued on Monday that information for the health accounts exercise will be collected from various stakeholders including employers, non-profit organisations, donors, key ministries and medical aid funds.
The collection of data for the health accounts exercise will commence in March 2016 and is expected to be completed at the end of April 2016.
The ban of plastic bags and imposing fees and restrictions on the use of plastic bags have been approved by more than 16 countries around the world including South Africa, Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda, Botswana, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Plastic bags are not biodegradable as they clog waterways, spoil the landscape and end up in landfill sites where it takes thousands of years to decompose into smaller particles that continue to pollute the soil.
Sewerage and drainage systems, which are commonly clogged by plastic bags, can cause a severe increase in cases of cholera and malaria due the still waters, ideal for choleric bacteria breeding and mosquito reproduction.
Many Namibians have begun adopting the use of reusable shopping bags and most grocers stock them at the cashier but the availability and convenience of plastic bags remain.