Briefing the media last week, the minister said the decision for the postponement was taken in his absence.
“The plastic ban was supposed to be effective the beginning of November and unfortunately I learned about the uplifting of the ban while I was out of the country and I do not know the reasons behind that,” he said.
According to the minister, they initially announced the plastic ban intention in 2015, adding that they had about 29 engagements since February this year until two weeks ago.
In addition, Khama stressed the importance of banning plastics highlighting that it was not environmentally friendly and caused harm to animals. He said Gaborone and other places are dirty largely due to plastic bags. Khama said even though the plastic bags were being sold, the retailers were not doing anything to tackle the problem save to wait for regulations telling them what to do.
“Why do we need a regulation to do the right thing? We would not have an issue with plastic bags if we managed them. But if we do not manage them, then we need a regulation otherwise we will live in a filthy environment,” he said. Further he assured of an announcement that would be made by Office of the President to help the situation. Though he would not divulge, Khama said the action was reactionary and that permanent solutions were needed.
ban. Khama said they had been impressed by a company of young people who had presented to them that they could produce biodegradable bags.
“They were disappointed at the reversal as their funding was stopped. We will see how we can assist them. I am disappointed that unfortunately they could not get their funding because the ban has been reversed.
“In one respect, you might help someone who is making plastic bags and contributing to polluting the country at the same time unfortunately disappoint someone who has the country’s interest at heart,” he said.
For his part, deputy permanent secretary at the ministry Thabang Botshoma said they were told that the ban was postponed so they be allowed to consider the consequences such as the amount of jobs that would be lost and what could be done.
Earlier this year, government announced the decision to ban the use of plastic carrier and flat bags effective from November 1, 2018.
When announcing the reason for the ban, the deputy director in the Ministry Frank Molebatsi stated that the decision 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.