Litterbugs will from this week be arrested, while authorities are finalising new measures to manage disposal of cellphone airtime recharge cards and carrier/plastic bags.
Source: D-day for litterbugs | The Sunday Mail August 6, 2017
Kuda Bwititi Chief Reporter
Anyone caught littering will be fined US$20, with failure to pay attracting a 15-day jail sentence. Companies will not be spared from the countrywide crackdown, which the Environmental Management Agency is leading under a ministerial directive.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told this paper: “The situation (littering) is getting out of hand. I have told Ema to immediately enforce the US$20 fine for littering so that people are deterred from littering and polluting the environment.
“The law has been there for a number of years now, but we have been slackening in terms of enforcing it. This time, there is need to work closely with police and local authorities in applying this law.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri continued, “We believe companies are most liable for littering; they have to be responsible and lead by example. For instance, if a company is located at a certain building, it is that company’s responsibility to make sure that building and the surrounding area are clean.
“We are also going to make sure that all companies have detailed waste disposal programmes. Those found without such programmes will have to pay. The polluter has to pay.”
Regarding carrier bags and airtime recharge cards, she said, “We are looking at addressing a number of issues in this holistic approach to making our country clean. We are going to be tougher on plastic bags because we encourage people to have bio-degradable carrier bags.
“We are going to make plastic more expensive and increase tax on plastic material. In addition, there will be a conference in September where stakeholders will discuss a number of issues. For example, on airtime recharge cards, we want to be like other countries that no longer use the cards but sell airtime electronically.
“However, we are also mindful that a lot of people are earning a living out of selling airtime. So, at the end of the day, we want to come up with a compromise solution.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri advised motorists, especially public transporters, to fit bins in their vehicles.
She said there was no going back on the ban on polystyrene and related packaging which Government enforced in July 2017 following expert advice that such material could cause cancer.