By Abdoulie John
The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Lamin Dibba, has reminded Gambians that the use of plastic bag is still prohibited, and warned smugglers to desist if they don’t want to face the law.
He made this statement during a press conference held on Wednesday at the Environment Ministry, located along Kairaba Ave.
The West African nation banned plastic bags in 2015, compelling manufacturers and sellers to put a halt to their activity. But the country’s law enforcement agencies failed to curtail the illicit item from being smuggled into the country.
Dibba urged people who are importing plastic bags to be law abiding, and desist from getting involved in the reprehensible activity.
The law clearly states that a person who “manufactures or imports, uses or sells, plastic bags in the Gambia, commits an offense.”
Those contravening the ban on plastic bags order are facing the risk of having to pay a fine of one thousand dalasi for a user, while a seller who is caught with the prohibited item could pay a fine ranging from two thousand dalasis to five thousand dalasis.
However, the penalties get tougher for manufacturers or an importers as they could face a “term of imprisonment of not less than six months but no more twelve months.” Fines that are between two hundred thousand dalasis and five hundred thousand dalasis are still hanging over the head of manufacturers.