Thin plastics banned in Malawi

The Supreme Court in Blantyre on Wednesday ruled in favour of government’s ban on the production, distribution and importation of thin plastic bags.

The ban on plastic bags of less than 60 microns came into effect on June 30, 2015 arguing such plastics pose a threat to the environment due to their delayed rate of decomposition.

However the implementation of the ban has been hampered by a series of injunctions.

Aero Plastics Industries Ltd, Rainbow Plastics and twelve other companies appealed against the ban arguing that it infringed on their business rights.

However, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, agreeing with the Government’s position that plastics manufacturers had been given sufficient warning and time to prepare for the halt on thin plastics production.

Environmentalists promote the use thick plastics which are environmental friendly as they can be re-used.

75,000 tonnes of plastic is currently produced in Malawi each year, of which 80% is single-use plastic that cannot be recycled.

The move means Malawi now joins a community of 62 other countries across the world that have banned the production, distribution and use of single use plastic bags.

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