5 000 families to suffer with job loses on closure of plastic firms: Impact to Malawi economy

Malawi’s poverty profile will be affected with 5,000 families suffering job loses of the bread winners as plastic manufacturers are to effect job cuts following the ban of plastic bags whose thickness is less than 60 microns.

Malawi government to lose revenue through plastic ban

Malawi banned production, importation, distribution and use of plastic bags in April 2013, but enforcement has been a problem because manufacturers challenged it in court despite government giving them a two-year breather to prepare for the prohibition.

The chairperson of the Plastic Manufacturers Association, Vijay Kumar, said : “Closing of companies is bad for the economy because in the end you penalise thousands of innocent people and that has huge impact on the economy. If you find something wrong the best is a fine.

“Government needs to implement this step by step while ensuring that there is dialogue going on with the industry on the matter,” said Vijay.

Rainbow Plastic managing director Abdul Majid Sattar said they brought into the country new machines for producing the 60 microns plastic bags.

Other companies such as Polypack, Easypack and OG Issa have also bought the new machines.

The manufacturers have said more than 5 000 people in the country would lose their jobs following the ban.

Malawi government is likely to lose about 10 to 15 percent annually in revenue from thin plastic paper sales if it maintains the ban imposed on manufacturers.

The ban is a critical global environmental issue because the plastic papers are difficult to dispose of and hazardous to health with environmentalists recommending use of paper bags, cloth bags and sisal bags as an alternative because they can be reused and are biodegradable.

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Chimdima
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Chimdima

Responsible Malawian journalists would think twice before publishing a story with such a misleading Title. The business men who pay 1000 kwacha to employees for a full day’s work should be the last one to talk about unemployment.

Crazy
Guest
Crazy

And just an add on. This is an opportunity for Malawian weavers who make baskets, madengu & bags from biodegradable natural materials. Let them be innovative and come up with practical carry-ons for shopping. Boosting local business, local talent while taking care of our environment. Ndizotheka

Crazy
Guest
Crazy

I am so proud of the comments on this thread. Viva Malawians for refusing to be hoodwinked by companies. Plastic bags are indeed a menace to the environment and kuononga malo olima. Do not falter on this one malawi government. If implemented you’ll have my vote politicians. And if implemented I might reconsider my views and start looking at our civil service more positively. Let the 5000 jobs go, it’s not as if selling jumbos really makes a difference in one’s life. It’s only the companies that benefit without any trickle down effect apart from damaging our warm heart 💚

Thtu
Guest
Thtu

If they are true businessmen and women, they will find a way around the ban. It is time as a country we did something that is commendable. No plastic bags period, they don’t care about Malawians affairs, in 3 years they would have restructured to making recyclable Carry bags from sisal or something else. Malawians also need to stay mindful and reuse the plastics you already have at home when you go shopping. Start practicing recycling, reducing and reusing. Otherwise the ban is useless as a black market will pop up

Ambuje Kukaya
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Ambuje Kukaya

This kind of thinking should not be tolerated in this country. How much do the 5,000 families benefit from plastics compared to the companies? Please Malawi Government, just go ahead and do the needful.

ndele
Guest
ndele

kwathu kuno ma kampani alowa china. try to buy fanta and kumusunga a week potelopo muone adekhe. hafu madzi hafu coloured water. nzomwe ndapona ine.
nthawi ya kamuzu timali ndi ma jumbo not plastic bags and u thought it was a bad idea. stupid leaders.

Munthali ka
Guest
Munthali ka

Rwanda banned these plastics long time ago. Now it’s one of the cleanest countries on earth. New companies sprung up making other types of biodegradable carriers and bringing New investments. The job losses are temporary

Shelix Munthali
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Shelix Munthali

Please let’s look at the bigger picture. Plastics are a menace to the environment , health and General wellbeing of us all. The ban is long overdoverdue. Job losses will sadly occur in the short term but there will be openings elsewhere. I don’t think plastic manufacturers will just close down without looking to invest in other sectors.

Msundu
Guest
Msundu

You mean 5000 indian families not Malawians. These Indians companies pay little to Malawians even less than 30000 a month. OG plastics has even poluted this small river that passes through Kanjedza Napeli.

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

Plastic ban is indeed an environmental issue without which a whole generation will suffer unimaginable and unintended consequences; the 5,000 jobs losses will pale in comparison. Before investing in plastic-making plants, the investors should have innovated to other environmental-friendly way of making bags or containers compliant to global expectations. The mere fact that as investors you were going against global wave is in itself arrogant. Most countries in developing and developed countries are already embracing the use of other materials other than the use and production of plastics.

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