Malawi shut down plastic firms: Manufacturers say ‘bad for economy’

The Malawi government has started closing firms who fail to comply with the ban on the manufacture, import and use of plastic bags with a thickness of less than 60 microns.

Environmental Affairs officials locking Rainbow Plastic at Mapanga

Environmental Affairs officials locking Rainbow Plastic at Mapanga

Anchor director with officials after being imposed K1 million fine

Anchor director with  ministry officials after being imposed K1 million fine

Spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Climate Change in the ministry, Sangwani Phiri, explained that the closure of companies was in line with Section 76 (1) of the Environment Management Act number 26 of 1996.

Environmentalists have long accused plastic bags of posing an environmental and health hazard to people, as well as animals, with the potential to kill on average one animal every three months due to unintentional digestion or inhalation. They recommend the use of “environmental friendly bags,” which can easily decompose or be recycled.

Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining on Friday embarked on a crackdown to  shut down manufacturing companies who failed to comply  with the law to  protect the environment.

The ministry officials closed Aero Plastics in Chirimba Industrial Area and Rainbow Plastic at Mapanga.

Abdul Majid Sattar the managing director of Rainbow Plastic said he would follow due procedure before resuming production.

Anchor Industries and OG Plastics at Ginnery Corner and Maone Industrial Area respectively, were fined K1 million ($1 333) each following last month’s inspection.

The closing of companies has not pleased Plastic Manufacturers Association of Malawi who initially  filed a legal challenge in the High Court asking for judicial review over the ban .

Vijay Kumar chairperson of the association said closing of firms  will have “huge impact” on the economy.

He said  penalties for non-compliance with the ban  should be fines, saying  a number of companies such as Polypack, Easypack and OG Issa have already brought into the country new machines for producing the 60 microns plastic bags.


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This is ironic. Malawi wake up! You are busy implementing what the zunguzi say. You did the same with cigarette some years back and ended up importing it from Mozambique. You will cripple your economy! Please scrutinize the thingz the Zunguzi say. Closing company is not the solution, but finding ways how to dispose and recycle them is. Stop closing firms , you are hurting yourselves. Malawi think before you act!!!

The travelor man
These companies should start using starch from casssava to make plastics. You will bost income of cassave groweres, creating farm based employement, while at same time having cheap local material for your companies, meaning you will increase your profits, creat more industry jobs, and yet be compliant with enviroment laws. My Asian Malawian friends, you have resource and education. Put them to good use for your second home. I have been to India by the way, let us all be happy here. Less people, less compitition and more tolerances, religios and race wise. Words from a wise and honest person… Read more »

Close all plastic manufactures. Go to Rwanda to see how they dealt with plastics and copy their undemocratic but effective methods. Kunalibe kale oonjezera zinyalala. Jumbo was not plastic but paper bag.


Malawi economy is relying on the same company through taxes so if u r busy closing then malawi wil be completely collapsed.

Jinack Chinula

My only goat was killed when it ate a plastic paper that gave problems to digestion system and that I have to procure another one though fearing the same problem. A cheap plastic destroying an expensive goat. It is good that the parliamentary Act mentioned above has been communicated.


Mbuzi ya munthu iwe

Zinazi osagwira ntchito as if you are robots. You went to school so that you should be able to reason. This is Malawi. What type of bag do you think owotcha chipisi should be using? What aboput the cost? These are people that are barely surviving. Life is given by the Almighty not not your environmental bra bra. Dr Kamperewera thought because he feared plastics he was not going to die but where is he? You are closing companies which is leading to job losses in these hard times where one can never get a job yet inu muli patchito… Read more »

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