Environmental agency confiscates 58,5 million kaylites

HARARE,– The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) says it has so far confiscated 58,5 million products made of Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS),commonly known as kaylite, worth an estimated $2,8 million, as it moves to implement a government directive banning the product.

Spokesperson Steady Kangata told The Source that the organisation was conducting site inspections and confiscating kaylite in a country-wide exercise.

“To date, we have issued over 264 environmental orders. In terms of the kaylites confisticates in-situ, the figure presently stands at 58 538 908” he said.

In July, government began implementing Statutory Instrument 84 of 2012 which bans the use of kaylites in the food industry following Environment minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri’s 2015 announcement of the new legislation.

When the ban was implemented, the regulator said the plastic food containers were exposing consumers to cancer and had clogged the country’s drainage as well as sewer systems.

Initially, government had given kaylite manufacturers up June 30, 2016 to switch to alternative packaging and mop up EPS sales but implementation was delayed to June this year. Government then gave kaylite manufacturers a three month grace period from July to clear stocks which was then revoked.

“We will continue confiscating kaylite until a time we manage to rid the market of the product,” Kangata said.