Mbabane: Shops are not expected to issue single use plastic bags to customers on weekends.
The Government of Eswatini has launched a ‘No Plastic Campaign’ under the theme ‘Phatsa Sakho Nawe’ in an effort to combat littering from single use plastics. The campaign, funded by UNDP to the tune of over E300 000, complements the Clean Eswatini Campaign also introduced by Government in 2019.
Speaking during the launch of the campaign at Mountain Inn Hotel on Wednesday morning, the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs Minister Moses Vilakati said single use plastic bags shall not be issued in all the participating retail shops during weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) for the duration of the campaign.
Participating retail outlets in the campaign are: Spar, Pick n Pay, Shoprite Checkers, Boxer Stores and OK Foods.
According to the minister the campaign begins on December 4, 2020 and will end in February 2021.
The campaign will by so stimulate the SME sector in the production of alternative environmentally friendly carrier bags.
The minister noted that during the course of the week, customers shall be issued with free plastic as usual and encouraged to bring their own carrier bags over the weekend.
Customers are encouraged to use the very same plastic bags issued or buy a reusable shopping bag that would be available at a cost price.
One of the objectives of the campaign is to encourage people to reduce single-use plastics bags. The minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs highlighted that the littering and indiscriminate dumping of waste reduces the aesthetic value and scenic beauty of the environment thereby badly affecting the Tourism Industry, let alone human health.
The campaign also aims to sensitize the public and assess consumer’s awareness on the adverse effects of single use plastic bags on the natural environment. This will also help in the reduction of the waste generated by the increased use of plastic.