In an attempt to protect its youths and environment, the government of Tanzania has placed a formal proscription on the import, manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol contained in plastic bags – with effect from Thursday, March 2, 2017.
Nigerian Guardian quoted the country’s Environment Minister Jan Makamba today as saying that the import, manufacture, sale and consumption of the 50 millilitre alcoholic sachets — the size of a double shot and commonly containing gin, rum, vodka, whisky or other spirits — will be banned with effect from tomorrow.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli had announced the ban last year.
The alcohol sachet ban is coming after the government launched an anti-drugs campaign last month.
It said that the small sachets containing all kinds of alcoholic drinks pollute the environment because they are thrown away after consumption. They are also a public health problem, as they are very consumed by young people.
The sachets sell for as little as $0.25, putting intoxicating liquor within reach of even the poorest while the discarded sachets clog drains and litter the streets.
The announcement is expected to come as a shock to businessmen, some of whom make huge profits from their sale, as well as drinkers who will be forced to pay more for bottled alcohol.
The easily-concealed bags of booze are especially popular among school students who can be seen sucking on the sachets between classes or at the start of the school day.
Quite a number of African countries such as Senegal, Malawi and Rwanda have already imposed bans on alcohol sachets, with Ivory Coast the most recent.