The environmental watchdog will not ban the use, manufacture, sale and importation of plastic bottles until the government comes up with guidelines.
The National Environment and Management Authority had previously given manufactures up to April to install collection points across the country failing which they were to effect the ban. But Environment principal secretary Charles Sunkuli said Tuesday that the government is still drafting guidelines governing the ban.
“I wish to clarify that the ministry has not mooted any plans to ban plastic bottles by April and instead has approached the problem from establishing a take-back scheme,” he said.
“We are still working on a take-back scheme and the guidelines will be ready by April. It is after that that we will be able to say exactly when the ban on plastic bottle will be effected.”
Data from the Environment ministry indicates that approximately 50 million bottles are used annually across the country. They are disposed of into the environment, forming bulk of waste.
Mr Sunkuli said that the scheme will involve collecting waste bottles and selling them for recycling.
He added that although plastic bags ban has recorded 80 per cent success rate, some traders were still using them.
He said the government would close all markets where traders flout the plastic bag ban.
“Some traders across the country are still operating in this illegal business. I want to assure you that we will work with relevant government agencies and where necessary close all these markets.”