Ban On Plastics Still Not In Force In Malawi

The ban on production and use of plastics given in 2015 is not yet in force because of the injunction plastic companies obtained.

Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Sangwani Phiri has confirned that the ban is not yet lifted.

In 2015, government banned the use of thin carrier bags. Plastics Manufacturers Association of Malawi obtained an injunction stopping the application of the ban.

Phiri said that government, through his Ministry was doing all it could to remove the injunction that the High Court issued in 2016.

“The issue was talked over in court and the verdict was supposed to be on March 22, 2017 but since that time they just said they will call us and we have not yet heard anything from them,” Phiri said.

Maxwell Mbulaje, Environment District Officer at Blantyre District Council said government was promoting thick plastics as they can be re-used thereby reducing the amount thrown away in the rivers or soil.

“Burning of plastic bags destroys the ozone layer and there is a layer that passes on into our body which also causes cancer. At the same time, throwing away of plastics is also discouraged as plastic does not decompose which destroys soil fertility,” Mbulaje said.

John Kapito, Executive Director of Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) said he could not comment on the issue since the issue was still in court.

In 2011, government officials in the country underwent training on how to use plastics in Rwanda which prompted them to issue a ban on the production and use of thin plastic bags.

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