Malawi completely bars single-use plastics

The chief court of Malawi has imposed a complete bar on plastics, keeping up with a 2015 govt. ban on generating, selling, and importing thin single-use plastics, most commonly used for packing or wrapping.

The Supreme Court of Appeal consisting of 7 judges on the panel, countered a challenge by plastic producers to ask for abolishment of ban imposed 4 years ago, in a judgment which came down the previous month.

Numerous firms acquired an injunction against the implementation of the plastic ban, saying how it breached their business rights.

However, the Supreme Court of Appeal stated this week how plastics as thin as 60 microns were a threat to the environment since, even though they may be very thin, take many years to decompose.

According to the court, if usage of plastic continues, it will be responded with fine payments, factory closures, and acquirement of prohibited goods.

An environmental director at the ministry of natural resources, Tawonga Mbale, expressed his support of the ruling, calling it a win for the environment.

Oliver Kumbambe, Chief Director in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, stated in a conference that the ban will counter the pollution against thin papers usage as they are non-degradable.

The Lilongwe Wildlife Trust estimated that Malawi-based plastic producers generate 75,000 tonnes of plastic every year. Of this, nearly 80% is single-use plastic.

The industry has stated how the ban will lead to a loss in employment of about 5,000 individuals.

Environmentalists have responded by saying how the plastic pollutions cost for agriculture, municipalities, human health, fisheries, and tourism, are very much greater than the cost of the ban.

Jonny Vaughan, the chief executive officer at the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, stated how the opinion of the public, politicians, and science, have long since agreed on the issue that comes with thin plastics.