DAR ES SALAAM, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), a leading global conservation organization, on Wednesday commended the government of Tanzania for taking a strong action towards the reduction of plastic pollution by introducing a ban on single use plastic bags in the country.
WWF said in a statement issued in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam that the use of plastics, which was introduced in Africa a generation ago, has been reported to pollute both the seas and land at an alarming rate.
"WWF is quite impressed with the government's decision to ban the use of plastic bags and carriers. This will be a big boost in the bid to protect the environment in Tanzania," said WWF Tanzania Country Director Amani Ngusaru.
"Plastic is a number one polluter of environment and a silent killer of our natural environment and living resources than most people understand. It takes more than a hundred years for a single plastic bag to decay, and that creates a huge problem," said Ngusaru.
He said WWF was committed towards supporting the government in the fight against plastic pollution.
"We understand that the control of plastic pollution calls for all stakeholders' participation in raising awareness and making sure that the ban is being effectively observed," he said.
Ngusaru said WWF will work with the government and partners to give expert advice whenever needed and conduct awareness raising initiatives.
Marco Lambertini, the Director General for WWF International, said the conservation organization applauded Tanzania's leadership for taking the initiative.
"We witness over eight million tonnes of plastics entering the oceans every year and an additional 104 million tonnes of plastics is expected to pollute our ecosystems by 2060 unless immediate action is taken," he said.
In his budget speech in parliament last week, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced a total ban on production, importation, sell or use of plastic bags with effect from June 1, 2019.
Tanzania joins countries in Africa that have either banned or introduced a levy on plastic bags to control and eventually stop its use.