(Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe has banned the use of expanded
polystyrene, commonly referred to as kaylite, as it moves to
protect public health and stop massive pollution caused by
Environmental Management Agency (EMA)
spokesperson Steady Kangata confirmed to Xinhua that the ban
targeting products used to package takeaway and refrigerated
foods was with immediate effect.
A notice issued Wednesday by the board
chairperson of EMA Zenzo Nsimbi said that the ban was effected
in line with a 2012 statutory instrument that prohibited the
manufacture or importation of kaylite for use or commercial
distribution within the country.
“The ban has been effected after wide
consultation in order to protect the citizens of Zimbabwe
from the environmental and health impacts caused by expanded
polystyrene,” he said.
He added that anybody who violated the
ban would be guilty of an offense.
The move has taken many food outlet
operators by surprise, with a supermarket worker saying she
wondered how they would continue serving their customers with
“So are we going to ask them to bring
their own plates and cups?” she said.
Many outlets offering takeaway food
have been using the kaylite in lieu of proper plates and cups.
Consumers have, however, not been
binning them after use, resulting in the clogging of storm
drains and a higher prevalence of flooding in the city center
and littering of the country’s rivers.
Even the highways have become heavily
littered as people threw the kaylite out of moving vehicles
after finishing their meals.
Results of a research by the
University of Zimbabwe that was published recently said kaylite
contained cancer-causing styrene which could migrate to food as
it was warmed or refrigerated.
Panic as environmental agency
begins fining retailers over use of kaylite
(Xinhua) -- The Environmental Management Agency (EMA)
of Zimbabwe on Friday unleashed enforcement officers throughout
the country to uphold a ban on kaylite as panic gripped
retailers after at least one large retail chain was fined for
having kaylite packaged goods on its shelves.
The agency effected the ban on
Wednesday in line with Statutory Instrument 84 of 2012 which
prohibits the manufacture or importation of kaylite (expanded
polystyrene) for use or commercial distribution within the
country, citing health and environmental reasons.
A manager with the retail chain who
declined to be named said enforcement officers in the city of
Masvingo found workers removing the kaylite packaged goods from
the chillers and still fined the retailer, albeit at a lower
scale because there were signs of compliance.
“They were going to fine us 5,000 U.S.
dollars but since they found us removing the goods they
settled for 200 dollars.
“We have instructed all our outlets to
remove goods which are packaged in kaylite. We will also
instruct our suppliers to come and uplift their products
because we cannot risk being fined on their behalf,” he
A mini-survey by Xinhua revealed that
the retailer had by 11 am Friday removed all kaylite packaged
goods from the chillers.
However, another large retailer was
still to comply and it was business as usual as outlets
continued to serve food in kaylite packaging while their
freezers and chillers were laden with such products.
Food outlet operator Kudakwashe Motsi
said he would be switching over to the more expensive paper
plates and shrink wraps but would have to balance the costs with
a view to remaining viable.
Results of a research by the
University of Zimbabwe which were published recently said
kaylite contained cancer causing styrene which could migrate to
food as it was being warmed or refrigerated.
On the environmental front, many
outlets offering takeaway food have been using the kaylite in
lieu of proper plates and cups but this was being disposed of
indiscriminately and causing massive pollution.
A retail shop employee who also
declined to be named said they approached EMA on Friday to make
representations to be allowed to continue using kaylite until
they came up with different packaging but were told that they
had to stick to the law.
“There are many of us who have been
affected differently and we presented our cases to be
allowed to continue using kaylite until we came up with Plan
B but they told us that there was nothing they could do
except to uphold the law,” he said.