The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has given kaylites manufacturers three months reprieve to wind up their operations leaving the discretion to use kaylites to individuals.

The reprieve follows a meeting between manufacturers, retailers and EMA officials on the way forward after the imposition of an immediate ban on the use of kaylites citing environmental and health implications.

EMA board chairperson, Ambassador Zenzo Nsimbi told the ZBC News that the closed door meeting culminated in the signing of agreements to ensure that business exhaust their material in the next three months though individual consumers will have the final decision.

However a visit to some of the retail shops in the capital by the ZBC News showed that many of them were starting to comply with the earlier directive of banning the use of kaylites locally by using alternative packaging.

President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, Mr Denford Mutashu said a number of them were already rejecting products packaged in kaylites.

The government last week announced that it has activated statutory instrument 84 of 2012 which prohibits the manufacturing or importation of polystyrene or kaylites citing environmental and health hazards.

The ban followed a recent research by the University of Zimbabwe which showed that kaylites are made out of a chemical called styrene that is mutagenic if consumed.

The research revealed there is migration of the styrene chemical from kaylites to food simulants even at low temperatures and the styrene chemical has been attributed to causing dangerous cancers.

Other countries like Rwanda and France already banned the use of kaylites.