Airline passengers have been told to remove the non-recyclable plastic carriers before arriving – although “ziplock” bags used as part of airport security procedures are still permitted.
Tanzania joins a growing list of countries around the world which have implemented a bag ban, with Africa often leading the way in tackling plastic waste.
Tanzania has toyed with a blanket ban in the past, having outlawed plastic bags on the semi-autonomous Zanzibar islands in 2006 and announced proposals for a country-wide ban in 2015.
But the scope of each nation’s ban differs. In China, which lacks a blanket ban, bags less than 0.025mm thick are outlawed and shops and food markets are banned from handing out free bags.
In Botswana, the government reversed a decision to ban plastic bags barely two weeks after it was implemented last November after complaints from manufacturers that their views had not been taken into consideration.
It comes as two major Asian economies revealed plans to return plastic waste shipped from overseas.
Malaysia last year became the leading alternative destination for plastic after China banned imports of such waste, disrupting the flow of more than seven million tonnes a year.
Now, Kuala Lumpur has begun sending back the waste to its country of origin, said Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia’s environment minister.
And Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his government to hire a private shipping company to send 69 containers of rubbish back to Canada and leave them within its territorial waters if it refuses to accept the waste.
In 2014 seven major retailers issued 7.6 billion single-use bags but the number was down to just over a billion in 2017-18.
On Wednesday, the environment secretary said plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds would be banned in England from next year to tackle pollution.
Exemptions will allow those who need to use plastic straws for medical reasons or a disability to buy them from registered pharmacies or request them in restaurants, pubs and bars, and the use of plastic-stemmed cotton buds for medical and scientific purposes.
Food and drink outlets will not be able to display plastic straws or automatically hand them out.