Tunisia plastic ban leads to manufacturers’ outcry

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Tunisia is taking stock of the outcome of a ban on the use of plastic bags imposed in March last year and while authorities and environmentalists are celebrating the resultant lower pollution levels, manufacturers of plastic products decry lost business.

Factories that make single-use disposable bags were to transition to manufacturing heavier-duty plastic bags (more than 50 microns) to be sold in supermarkets, as opposed to being handed out for free, as well as cloth bags.

This was all in hope that the cost will incentivize shoppers to bring reusable bags or traditional Tunisian baskets called “koffa” that were once used for shopping.

Environmentalists have expressed their satisfaction in the reduction of pollution caused by plastic bags.

“I see a slight change in the city of Tunis where I am right now,” Afif Fantar – an engineer with the Tunis International Center for Environmental Technologies told DW in an interview. “The use of plastic bags has been reduced, and somehow I see a better situation in the streets,” he added.

Tunisia had considered cutting plastic bag usage years ago, but implementation was delayed. “Now that the government has officially announced its commitment, I see a better future for our society in the next years,” Fantar said.

CGTN’S Adnen Chouchi reports.