For all travelers going to Africa and especially Tanzania (Uganda as well), it is imperative to inform them to avoid delays on arrival at their airports, do not bring single-use plastic bags. Please share with your fellow agents, operators, clients, colleagues, guests, and friends.
Effective 1st June 2019: All passengers arriving at any Tanzania airport including tourists can possibly face very heavy fines for using plastic bags in any way, shape or form. Using, manufacture or importation of plastic bags, including garbage bags and shopping bags is illegal. Offenders, including tourists, could face very heavy fines.
Visitors/Citizens and Residents alike are advised to avoid packing any plastic bags in their suitcases or in carry-on hand luggage before flying to Tanzania. Items purchased at the airport before boarding the aircraft should be removed from plastic bags. Please check hand luggage before disembarking at entry points and any plastic bags should be left in the plane.
Similarly, the transparent “zip-lock” plastic bags that some airlines require passengers to use for keeping liquids, cosmetics, toiletries, etc separately in hand luggage are also not permitted to be brought and should be removed and left on the plane before disembarking.”
African countries who already have or will have a total or partial ban on single-use plastics are: Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
In Africa they take the use of single-use plastic bags very seriously. We were in Namibia this past February and our vehicle was searched for the bags before we entered Etosha National Park.
The Take Away: Best to avoid the use of single-use plastic bags altogether when you are packing for an international flight, especially for Africa. Doing so will avoid possible delays and fines regarding this issue. Not using single-use plastic bags also has a huge upside, you are helping our planet.