The government of the Ivory Coast has interdicted the production, importation and sale of alcohol in sachets on health grounds.
Sources in the Ivory Coast say small plastic bags, containing rum, vodka or other spirits, are popular with those on a budget – costing between $0.35 (£0.28) and $1.65.
The Ivorian government maintained that the ban is aimed at reducing the impact of alcohol on young people, especially students, government spokesman Bruno Kone said.
Other African nations like Cameroon, Malawi and Senegal have also banned the sale and production of alcohol in sachets in recent years.
The decision to ban the sachets of alcohol in the Ivory Coast was taken after a Wednesday’s cabinet meeting after which the ministry of commerce made the proposition, Mr Kone said.
It can be recalled that a ban on the sale of water in plastic bags led to huge protests two years ago in the Ivorian capital Abidjan. At the time, the government’s stance was that the bags were banned to reduce pollution in the country.
“These products are mostly smuggled into the country,” the government spokesman Kone maintains.
“They do not meet our standards and therefore constitute a real threat to the health of consumers – and a threat to the country’s economy.”
Several African nations are struggling with cheap goods from China and India.