THE Environmental Management Agency (Ema) says the idea to ban the use of plastics by December 2022 came about as a response to a global call to protect the environment.

“A communication has been sent to the Retailers Association of Zimbabwe (RAZ) and there have been some suggestions which will be made public soon. The thrust is to reduce the use of plastics and the adoption of non-plastic carrier bags after considering that plastics are non-biodegradable,” Ema environmental education and publicity manager Amkela Sidange said.

Sidange said her organisation had begun engagements with RAZ and other relevant authorities over the matter to ensure the country comes up with a lasting solution over the issue.

“We are conforming to global and regional calls as a country since we are not living in isolation. Other countries like South Africa and Kenya have already complied.”

She said Ema had set a timeframe of December 2022 in order to show the urgency of the matter.

Government also banned the use of polystyrene material, commonly known as kaylites and other related plastic packaging citing health hazards and pollution.

The ban affected mainly the food industry and vendors.