The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has recommended a gradual ban on the use of plastics in the country.
ZEMA Director General, John Msimuko said the gradual ban can be achieved through enacting the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations as one way of managing packaging materials such as plastics which eventually end up as waste.
Mr. Msimuko stated that Section 58 of the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011(EMA) provides for EPR and demands that very producer be responsible for their waste.
He disclosed that ZEMA concluded the stakeholder’s consultative process for the enactment of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and awaits finalization of the regulations through the relevant government processes.
This is contained in a press statement issued to the media in Lusaka yesterday.
“ZEMA and other stakeholders both public and private are currently engaged in processes aimed at ensuring the gradual phase out of plastics in Zambia is implemented soon,” Mr. Msimuko said.
Mr. Msimuko further said the Agency looks forward to finalization of the EPR legislation in addressing continued concerns on use of plastic bags and plastic packaging materials as it will go a long way in improving the responsibility of manufacturers of such products in waste management.
ZEMA was established under the Environmental Management Act of 2011 whose role is to advise on policy formulation and make recommendations for the sustainable management of the environment.