Shoppers defy govt order

zim_supermarketHARARE - Supermarkets country-wide have defied a government order banning them from giving shoppers plastic bags.

The ban has shocked many in the country and its flimsy environment cleanliness assertions have not been convincing to the general public. While major shops in the country have complied with the ban medium and small supermarkets have continued to give away plastic bags.

We have large stocks of plastic bags and we are not going to stop giving them to our customers. If people cannot carry their groceries in plastic bags then where else can they put them? said a shop manager in Harare.

The general public expressed shock and dismay at the ban that attracts a US$20 fine.

How does the government expect us to carry our groceries if we cannot get the plastic bags? The government has nothing better to do, said Evelyn Sakande from Chitungwiza.

The ban on plastic bags has, however, allowed vendors to make a roaring trade by selling them on the doorsteps of shops.

Before the ban I used to take home US$10, but I am now making twice that amount, said a woman who sells bags along Julius Nyerere.

The ban that came into effect last week was passed by the Zimbabwe Government in May 2010 under the Environment Protection regulations.

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