Burundi Association of Consumers denounces ” speculation ” on price of plastic bags

Two weeks after Burundi president signed a decree banning the import, marketing, manufacture and use of plastic bags, their price has considerably increased. Depending on the type of plastic bags, prices have more than doubled. “This rise is related to the shortage of bags at the points of sale “, says anonymously a wholesaler met at the market commonly called “Kwa Siyoni” on 20 August.

sachetsHe says the purchase of a sack of small white bags mainly used for the packaging of food products has increased from BIF 125, 000 to more than BIF 300,000. A hundred pieces of black bags which were previously sold at BIF 2500 or BIF 3000 are currently sold between BIF 45,000 and 5,000.

The price of plastic bags in green or yellow color has also increased. There has been an increase of BIF 100 per piece.
Street vendors speak about “an increase in price that will affect other products.” L.K a street vendor of laundry soap, claims that she is working at loss: “The profit I used to earn when I sold soaps is the one I use to purchase packaging bags”. She says she will be forced to raise the price of soap if the price of packing bags is not reduced.

“It’s a mere speculation,” says Pierre Nduwayo , the chairman of Burundian Association of Consumers (ABUCO) .
For him, this price increase is not justified as the decree gives sellers an 18-month grace period to finish off the existing stocks. He calls on the government to control this speculation.

Pierre Nduwayo calls on public authorities to implement accompanying measures. He proposes the creation of companies for the production of substitute packaging and facilitating operators who wish to invest in the production of biodegradable packaging. “The prices of such biodegradable packaging should also be the same as those of plastic bags,” says Nduwayo.

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