christmas-shopping-in-harare.jpgConsumers have expressed concern over the failure by most retailers to issue for free plastic bags to carry their purchased goods, following a ban imposed by the Environmental Management Agency over concerns of litter.


The move to ban retailers from freely issuing plastic bags to consumers has been met with resistance by consumers who say their rights are being infringed on.


Consumers who have been used to getting free plastic bag carriers say they are now being forced by retailers to buy taxi bags, while others are resorting to carrying their groceries in card board boxes.
“We must get plastic bags for free rather than having to buy them,” said one consumer.


Environmental Management Agency Education Publicity Manager, Mr. Steady Kangata said the banning of the use of plastic bags is a move to guard against the littering of the environment so as to create environmental safe habits.


He said the dumped plastics now interfere with water and sewer reticulation systems, hence plastic bags should be re-used, thus the option is to attach some value to them.


“Plastics block the sewer system, hence the ban on their use,” said Mr. Kangata.


A spokesperson for one local retail group, Mr. Denford Mutashu however said both retailers and manufactures were caught unawares by EMA’s move, adding that consultations should have been made before effecting the ban.


“EMA should have first publicized before effecting the ban,” Mr. Mutashu said.


Due to their nature, plastics can not decompose, hence causing headaches to environmentalists.

Some countries have already effected such bans on the use of plastic carrier bags.