Tanzania’s local investors to rake millions from environmental friendly bags


On June 1, 2019, Tanzania ushered in a new way, for domestic packaging without plastic bags.

Plastic Manufacturing Association of Tanzania (PMAT) stated that the government would lose more than 50 billion TZS, in terms of annual tax, including corporate tax, excise duty, and city service duty, that they paid.

Now, the Tanzanian packaging market is game, as cheaper and durable packaging solutions are yet to surface within communities’ reach. Local, entrepreneurs artisans and recyclers stand to generate millions in revenue, through making renewable bags that could replace the beloved-plastic bags, which were previously sold at 100 TZS a piece, of which is sold at a slightly higher cost of 300 TZS.
Tanzania Invest data indicates that Tanzania is among the 20 fastest growing economies in the world. The latter, promote the possibility that channeling financial and technical resources into small and medium-sized renewable bag factories might be the right move.
According a release from the Tanzanian Vice President’s Office, there are more than 25 paper factories established in Tanzania that make kraft-paper, which is a vital raw material for making paper-bags, which could be a viable option for domestic grocery packaging, that entrepreneurs can capitalize.

Why Renewable Bags Matter

In 2017, PMAT-Chairman Joseph Wasonga, highlighted some key figures during a stakeholders discussion with the previous Minister of State in The Vice President’s Office responsible for Union Affairs and Environment, that there were 35 plastic bag industries under PMAT, producing only 18 percent of the plastic bags circulated national wide, while almost 70 percent of the bags were imported, which were also in a substandard condition, contributing to adverse environmental impacts.

There is no doubt that, Tanzania has a vast array of raw materials for making renewable bags, natural fiber and woven materials at her disposal. From a business perspective, it is possible for durable, cheaper and attractive bags to be made and replace the plastic bags market vacuum. Under the right business models, local entrepreneurs stand a chance to diversify their local economies.

Local Economy Diversification

Tanzania’s ongoing regime has strictly insisted on promoting industrialization across all major fields of economy. Local entrepreneurs stand to leverage that national aspiration and national packaging market over space and time. Local entrepreneurs can levitate the huge gap that exists in raw material supply for producing these bags. Lucrative leeway can be drawn for the latter, whereby, local producers can dominate a profitable customer base for bags supply, while raw material manufacturers can increase revenue and expand their operations across regions.
The Tanzanian Vice President’s office had issued a statement encouraging investment into the industry for both raw materials manufactures, primarily paper materials and renewable bags producers, to step up their game and cease the opportunity.
Local governments stand to accrue more taxes from local business within the renewable bags line, through production, distribution, and consumption. Also, recycling is an integral part of the renewable bags production, which eventually stimulate creation of jobs along the way, this will benefits local communities and
amplify their economies over time.
More importantly, Tanzanian recycling and environmental actors have begun doubling down on the matter. Zaidi Recyclers an innovative solid waste recycling company, has been taking a stake into the renewable bags supply business with its own modal, including selling recycled waste materials in and out of the country and also recently training local artisans and entrepreneurs in Dar es Salaam business hub of Tanzania, on leveraging technology, markets, designing and safety.

The vice president’s office has been cited to emphasize all investors found in all walks of business related to the renewable bags industry, to ensure their affairs are in accordance with the government’s strategy to generate more jobs for the people and operate in accordance to the National Environment Management Council (NEMC),
Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) regulations.

Also read: Tanzania’s Plastic Ban means millions for local entrepreneurs

Padili Mikomangwa is an environmentalist based in Tanzania. . He is passionate about helping communities be aware of critical issues cutting across, environmental economics and natural resources management. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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