Ministry resumes ban on thin plastics

The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has finally announced the resumption of the ban on thin plastics of less than 60 microns.

The ban has been resumed following the Supreme Court of Appeals’ July 31 dismissal of the appeal made by AERO Plastics and the Plastic Manufacturers Association which prevented Government from implementing the Environmental Management (Plastics) Regulations, 2015.

Since the injunction by the plastic manufacturers was removed on July 31, the Ministry has been consulting on the possible resumption of the ban.

In a press statement issued by the ministry on August 24, and signed by its secretary, Patrick Matanda, the ministry has warned all persons engaged in the manufacturing, distribution, importation, sale and use of plastics to comply with the law.

“The public should take note that the Ministry has resumed implementation of the Environment Management (Plastic Regulations) and the ban with immediate effect and therefore should take note that failure to comply is punishable by law,” reads part of the statement.

The offences include monitory fines, closure of facility, imprisonment upon conviction, and confiscation of any equipment or property which is part of the subject matter of the offence.

The Ministry has also announced its plans to inspect different premises involved in the manufacturing, storage, selling and use of the banned plastics where it will also test their thickness.

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 by manufacturers.

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