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The Minister in charge of Trade answers the oral questions of the senators

ByWebmaster

Jan 20, 2023

GITEGA January 20th (ABP) – The Minister of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, Mrs. Marie Chantal Nijimbere was the guest in the plenary session of the Burundian Senate held on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. She answered the oral questions with debate from senators. They were centered, among other things, on the strategies and measures taken to curb non-biodegradable bottles on the market in order to preserve the environment, a check by ABP revealed.

Minister Nijimbere reminded the senators that in 2018, the President of the Republic, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, signed Decree Nº100/099 of August 8, 2018 prohibiting the import, manufacture, marketing and sale of use of bags and other plastic packaging devices. Mrs. Nijimbere said that this decree also identifies plastic objects that continue to be used, until there is the establishment of industries that can manufacture biodegradable bottles that can replace them. She admitted that until now the quantity of biodegradable packaging produced remains lower than the demand and that the manufacturing units are still insufficient at the national level. She also pointed out that biodegradable packaging produced in Burundi does not cover the entire national territory.

According to her, in chapter 4 of that decree, article 7 provides that any plastic object must be collected and returned to its manufacturing plant to be transformed into other materials. She reported that together with the Burundian Bureau of Standardization (BBN), the ministry in charge of trade has given a six-month period to all factories that use non-biodegradable plastic bottles and recovery packaging, to use bottles that can be recycled. To that end, she pointed out that otherwise their products will be directly withdrawn from the market since February 26, 2023. She also pointed out that it has been a year since the BBN no longer grants certificates to processing plants using recycled packaging devices collected in neighborhoods to reuse them again.

Based on this, Minister Nijimbere called on all local or foreign investors to undertake the manufacture of bottles and other biodegradable packaging devices to conserve the environment. She also called on the owners of the factories that use those items to collect them and submit them to their factories of origin for recycling.

To overcome those challenges, the Minister in charge of trade has indicated that since this month of January 2023, her ministry has been seeing how to further enhance the Verrundi factory, which manufactured bottles in order to reduce the enormous cost of the currencies used to buy bottles abroad. She said that in collaboration with the ministry in charge of infrastructure, they have set up a commission which is in the process of carrying out an expertise for the reclamation of that plant.