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Small scale traders a problem in complying with ban on use of plastic carrier bags – ZEMA

ZAMBIA Environmental Management Agency says small scale traders are a problem when it comes to complying with the ban on the use of plastic carrier bags.

And Chipata district commissioner Kalunga Zulu says society is still grappling with climate change effects.

During a stakeholders meeting on the protection of the ozone layer and climate at Crystal Springs Hotel in Chipata on Monday, ZEMA corporate affairs manager Irene Lungu Chipili said big chain stores have complied with the ban on plastic carrier bags.

“When you go into big chain stores like Shoprite, Game, Pick n Pay, and so on, those ones have complied with the ban on plastic carrier bags and alternative bags are being offered. Our problem at the moment is with the small scale traders, that vendor on the street, that kanthemba trader, our mothers, brothers and sisters in Kapata market and so many other places. Sometimes we are not able to trace the source of those plastic carrier bags,” Chipili said.

She said one of the proactive steps that the regulator could do was to try and identify the source or manufacturers of plastic carrier bags.

“If a source or the manufacturer complies then eventually the non-compliant plastic carrier bags traders will find themselves out of the market, so it will be a gradual thing but we are working towards
it. We have seen from Lusaka for instance and many other places – Copperbelt, even Solwezi – there are success stories about this issue,” Chipili
said.
And in his concluding remarks, Zulu commended ZEMA for opening an office in Chipata adding that issues of the environment were real.

“We are there to help and work with you as ZEMA in a multi-sectoral manner because issues to do with the environment are real; we are grappling with climate change effects. I am sure everyone here knows about this load management and I am you know why we are experiencing these load management. It’s because we don’t have enough water at the Kariba dam and these are some of what are called anthropogenic activities of human beings, the bad attitude that we have towards the environment and now the environment is hitting back at us,” said Zulu.

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