By Madiba Singhateh

The National Environment Agency on Monday 13th November 2017, gave a stern warning against the use and circulation of plastic bags in the country.

They said people should not forget that a ban has been placed on this environmentally hazardous material since 2015.

Speaking at the press conference Mr. Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang, the Communications Officer at the National Environmental Agency cited the Act on the ban on the Plastic Bags Order, which came into force on 1st July 2015.

Mr. Sanyang said it is a proven fact that two years ago in 2015, they took up a giant step in banning plastic bag in the country; that the ban now makes plastic an illegal product that no one must consume or deal with, both through import or export; that after the political impasse, the surfacing of plastic bags became vigorous in the country again. Mr. Sanyang posited that the state should set an example that will serve as a deterrent to other users.

Dr. Dawda Badjie, Director of Technical Services said Government directive goes through a process; that through consultation with stake holders and looking at the dangers associated with the use of plastic, Government came up with the ban that was enacted into law and that this has to take a process. Mr. Badjie thinks that Laws enacted during the past regime are not relevant in the ‘New’ Gambia; that this is a very wrong notion and people should be sensitized to know that it is still the same country. He said there are so many negative issues associated with the use of plastic and that the dangers far overweigh the benefits.

The Director of NEA Lamin Joma Suwareh said when the regime came into being, many Gambians think the laws that were in place during the former regime, are no more relevant. He said there are laws that are very important and relevant and these should be reviewed and looked at. He said the ban on plastic was necessary as it went through a process and came into being as law. He said that council has the role of making policies and adopting guidelines and standards; that they want to remind Gambians that the laws are still in place and they should desist from violating them.

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