The Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, has banned the use of packaging materials such as plastic bags and their resultant waste.
Ministry Permanent Secretary Edie Chomba told a Media briefing that this is in accordance with section 58 of the Environmental Management Act No 12 of 2011.
Dr Chomba explained that the Extended Producer Regulations which extends the responsibility of the producer of a product or class of products to the post-consumer stage of the product or class of products.
He said the extended Producer Regulations is one of the tools that government will rely on to manage, in an environmentally sound manner, packaging materials such as plastics and their resultant waste.
Dr Chomba said the extended Producer Regulations will also regulate non-returnable glass and plastic bottle, cartons, beverage cans, waste oils, pesticides or chemical containers, used tyres, electrical and electronic equipment.
He stated that the regulations require a person or persons whose activities generate waste with the potential to pollute the environment to employ measures essential to minimize waste through treatment, reclamation, re-use, recovery or recycling.
Bishop Chomba said the Ministry has since informed stakeholders and the general public that the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has been engaging stakeholders from all sectors of the economy on the content, framework and the way regulations will operate.
He said among the key stakeholders that have so far been consulted include the Zambia Association of Manufacturers, Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Oil Marketing Companies, Chain Stores and Shopping Centre Managers.