The Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources says it is waiting for a legal opinion from the Attorney General (AG) Dr Chikosa Silungwe on the enforcement of the ban on 60 micrometres thin plastics.
Senior Environmental Officer Chifundo Chinyama said the Ministry halted the inspection exercise on the distribution and production of the thin plastics following a court injunction which was obtained by plastic manufacturing companies.
“I can say that some inspection were halted so that we can hear the outcome of that particular case but before we received that order there were already some companies that the Department were actually instituting legal proceedings.
“So we want to follow-up with the AG on how far that progress is made in terms of vacating that injunction but nonetheless we still want to continue with inspection,” said Chinyama.
According to Chinyama, this is the main reason behind continued presence of thin plastics in the country.
“That’s why you see some companies continue manufacturing and you still see some plastic bags on the market,” said the Environmental Officer.
Chinyama said it is only the advice from the AG that will guide implementation of the ban which government that earlier issued on thin plastics of less than 60 microns.
“We are still looking for more clarification from our legal advisers on whether or not we can resume despite that injunction obtained by one company.
And we are waiting to get advise from the AG whether we can continue inspection despite the injunction and whether the injunction is attached to all manufacturing companies or is just one particular company,” highlighted Chinyama.
Meanwhile, the country`s AG is yet to comment on the matter.
Government issued the ban as one way protecting and conserving the country’s environment as plastics are nonbiodegradable.