Food outlets and vendors have brought polystyrene food packaging containers (kay-lites) back on the streets of Harare after it was banned two-years ago for being environmentally unfriendly and cancerous, prompting cabinet ministers to raise alarm over the development.

The ban appears not to be effective as the kay-lites are being found at almost every dumpsite in the central business centre – a clear evidence that people continue to be exposed to the deadly poisonous product.

Touched by the rate at which the kay-lites are contaminating the environment, the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Cde Sithembiso Nyoni has raised alarm over lack of enforcement of the ban.

Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Sithembiso Nyoni

“If the kay-lites were banned, we do not remember when it was unbanned, the clean-up exposed this because at every dumpsite kay-lites are pilling. This should be looked at urgently.

“Law enforcement arms should play their role. The product is dangerous and causes cancer, so something needs to be done now, as we cannot tamper with people’s lives,” said Cde Nyoni.

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) says kay-lites remain banned as provided for in Statutory Instrument 84 of 2012 which prohibits the manufacturing or importation of the product.

The organisation cited that there is smuggling of kay-lites from outside the country which is flooding the informal business sector and together with police, they intend to flush out illegal distribution.