Kaylite ban still stands, only 3-month reprieve given

kyliteThe Government, through the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has given the manufacturers, distributors and users of expanded polystyrene (kaylite), a three month reprieve to wind up their operations and switch to alternatives.

The reprieve follows a meeting between polystyrene manufacturers, distributors, retailers and EMA on the way forward after the activation of Statutory Instrument 84 of 2012, Environmental Management (Plastic Packaging and Plastic bottles) (Amendment) Regulations, which ban the manufacture, importation and commercial distribution of polystyrene for use in Zimbabwe.

It is important to note that the ban still stands. Nevertheless, a 3 months reprieve was given to allow a smooth changeover by businesses.

The 90-day reprieve which started on the July 17, 2017, will end on October 17, 2017 under strict monitoring by the Agency to allow a transition to alternative packaging. The ban on polystyrene was effected as a result of its environmental and health impacts.

Environmental impacts of kaylite

  • Not biodegradable and takes up to 500 years to disintegrate.
  • It is 95 percent air and 5 percent plastic and hence ultra-light and contributes to littering
  • Blocks storm drains and water reticulation
  • Not economical to recycle
  • When burnt it produces fumes that contain styrene gas which is a carcinogen

Health impacts of kaylite

  • A study by the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) has revealed that Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) – popularly known as kaylite – which is used by many restaurants and food vendors to package meals and beverages, release styrene gas that causes cancer.

Alternatives to kaylite in food packaging

Paper, corn based packaging, edible packaging, biodegradable plastics as well as sit-ins in restaurants are some of the options to kaylite.

Where else was kaylite banned

Countries like Rwanda, France and the United States cities of New York City, Los Angeles, Portland and Washington DC are among those that have banned kaylite.


The use of polystyrene to protect goods from damage during transportation or storage as well as in construction is exempted from the ban.

Lets say No to the use of Kaylite and stay healthy in a clean as well as safe environment.

  • Send your feedback to; [email protected], like us on Facebook and Twitter or visit our website www.ema.co.zw. Alternatively, call us on: Tel 04-305550/ 305407/ 305188 and Toll-free 08080028; or use our WhatsApp platform 0779565707. We are ready to listen.

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