Single Use Plastic Bags Banned on Kilimanjaro

Tanzania bans single use plastic bags; often used for packing gear on Kilimanjaro


Tanzania bans single use plastic bags; often used for packing gear on Kilimanjaro

We’ve just learned that Tanzania has made an important move towards keeping Kilimanjaro’s majestic slopes clean- it has banned the use of single-use plastic bags on the mountain for climbers and those servicing visitors to the mountain.  Embark supports this initiative; though we do acknowledge that we’re still sifting through the details of this new limitation.  We realize that we advise our climbers to pack their clothes in plastic bags to keep them from getting wet in a downpour.  Moving forward, we will encourage trekkers to bring non-single-use plastics.

The Tanzanian government is expected to announce a ban on all single-use plastic carrier bags by 1 June this year. We would therefore recommend making this clear to all guests traveling to Tanzania. The ban covers all plastic bags, including garbage bags and shopping bags. Any transparent bags used to store liquids, cosmetics, toiletries during the flight should be left on the plane, while nylon luggage wrap should be removed and disposed of at a special designated point at the airport.

Exceptions to the ban are made, however, for plastic or plastic packaging required for medical services or which have industrial, foodstuff, sanitary or waste management uses.

While we expect airport staff to be helpful to incoming visitors who might not be fully aware of the new rules, the law is being taken seriously, so it is advisable that guests be prepared.

This move comes as global awareness continues to grow about the damage caused to the planet’s ecosystems and wildlife by non-biodegradable waste. Tanzania joins its East African neighbors Kenya and Rwanda in imposing a ban, putting the region at the forefront of fighting plastic pollution.

Embark recommends an alternative way of organizing your belongings inside your duffel bags.  For items such as your sleeping bag and down/down-alternative jacket that are important to keep dry, consider a waterproof stuff sack or ‘dry bag’.  Given that the duffel bags we recommend (Northface L Duffel or similar) are mostly waterproof, you should not have major issues – and the dry bag would be an added protection for the most important belongings.

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