Supreme Court of Malawi bans thin plastic production

Environmentalists in the country are celebrating having won the battle of thin plastic production ban following a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

Malawi environmentalists happy with thin plastic ban

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by plastic manufacturers who said they were not properly consulted on the implications of the ban and the harm it would do to their businesses.

But the Supreme Court said the plastic manufacturers were given sufficient warning time to prepare for the stop on the plastic production.

The court’s decision makes production of thin plastics under 60 microns in thickness illegal with immediate effect.

Manufacturers who disobey the order face fines, closure of factories and seizure of their products.

In June 2015, the government effected a ban on thin plastics of less than 60 microns, arguing that they pose a threat to the environment due to their delayed rate of decomposition.

But in January 2016, Aero Plastics Industries Ltd, Rainbow Plastics and twelve other companies, obtained an injunction against the implementation of the ban, arguing it infringed on their business rights.

They were also against the closing down of their factories and imposing fines on suspicion that they were manufacturing, distributing and or selling thin plastics.

The companies sought judicial review challenging the ban however the court upheld the ban on June 14, 2018.

Environmental experts argue that thin plastics pose serious risks to human beings when consumed indirectly through fish as they can lead to diseases such as cancer.

They say accumulated thin plastics go into rivers and lakes, thereby endangering aquatic life.

Plastic bags also tend to disrupt the environment in a serious way as they get into soil and slowly release toxic chemicals. They eventually break down into the soil, with the unfortunate result being that animals eat them and often choke and die.

Besides this, they take so many years to breaks down, with researchers estimating that they take up to 100 years to degrade.

The government effected the ban on plastics using the 1999 Environmental Regulation Act on the management and disposal of wastes.

At least 75, 000 tonnes of plastic is produced each year in Malawi of which 80 per cent is single-use plastic which cannot be recycled.

Malawi now joins 62 other countries who banned thin plastic production or use of single use plastics which cannot be recycled. 

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Njolo mpilu
Njolo mpilu
1 year ago

ndakulila kale tikudya chips coika mu brown paper bag ku ma stands bt.cili crunchy.
lelo gooy mashy .
nkhaniyi inabwera pa dzana litalilo. koma paja mumangochukumitsa osacita kanthu. i remember going to peoples when i dint kmow plastic anena kiti basi only till be by one fat old lady pa till when i asked to buy one. ee aletsatu, ingomangani pa nsalupo. meaning nndivule.

nde coloweza mmalo cake cikhala ciani

vikhumbo
vikhumbo
1 year ago

enforcement, inspection will be key. come to nungwi, mgona, mtopwa markets to inspect
otherwise these people pick blind corners and continue production knowing no one will inspect and monitor

Chemjambe
Chemjambe
1 year ago

Thank you Supreme Court, this is good news indeed, don’t let these amwenyes destroy our beautiful country in the name of bussiness

Luso
Luso
1 year ago

Progress

Truth
Truth
1 year ago

This is what we call justice……

Madalitso
1 year ago

This is good news indeed. Now let’s be keen, actually vigilant, on enforcement of this ban. Plastic manufacturers can quickly switch to manufacturing of reusable but biodegradable carry bags. Equally good business.

Let’s stop shocking our environment with these plastics. Rwanda & Tanzania cities & towns look admirably clean following a ban on use of plastics. I support the move…bravo Supreme Court Judges for loving your country.

#NotMyPresident
#NotMyPresident
1 year ago

Thank you Supreme Court judges. There are two institutions in Malawi that have the heart of Malawians. The MDF and the Courts. Go around the country and see what these thin plastics are doing. These companies are united for one thing, profits by any means necessary.

kanchenga
kanchenga
1 year ago

Thank you judges at least something positive has come out of my Malawi. Can the Lilongwe City Council organize a city cleanup day once every month so that we can clean out these plastics especially along lilongwe river. Just thinking aloud. Mtambo how about Tuesday demos to include plastic cleanup along the roads we use. A lorry to carry the trash as we match on can be provided. As we match to cleanup poor leadership we also clean the trash which they brought.

Kaitano
Kaitano
1 year ago
Reply to  kanchenga

Sounds funny but good!

Mwe'ene
Mwe'ene
1 year ago
Reply to  kanchenga

NOT practical – like everything the demo groups get their hands on.
Really, how can you demonstrate effectively, and look for and pick up garbage at the same time? The organizers have clearly showed they can’t chew and walk at the same time?
Just give up the demos; they are running out of gas, after all.

APM akundiyamwa 🍆
APM akundiyamwa 🍆
1 year ago

Amwenye agwa nayo. Dziko ndi wanu ndalama ndi wathu 🤣🤣🤣

True story
True story
1 year ago

Nde Buledi tidzigula yotsa vindikila!? Nanga ma condom? Shaah koma ….

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