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Court suspends plastics ban

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BY AUDREY KAPALAMULA:

The High Court in Blantyre has suspended the enforcement of a ban on the use of thin plastics, a month after an injunction that previously stopped the government from putting the ban into force was vacated.

Aero Plastics Industries Limited and Abdoul Majid Sattar of Rainbow Plastics sought suspension of enforcement of a ruling delivered on June 14 this year, pending an inter-partes hearing.

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“Upon hearing counsel for the applicants and upon reading the sworn statements of Frank Farouk Mbeta filed herein, it [is] here[by] ordered and directed that the enforcement of the ruling of this court dated 14 June 2018 herein be and is suspended pending the inter-parties hearing scheduled for 9 August 2018,” reads the court order dated July 12 2018, signed by Judge Healy Potani.

The June 14 ruling allowed the Department of Environmental Affairs to continue enforcing the ban on the use of plastics of less than 60 microns as provided for in Environment Management Regulations of 2015.

Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining spokesperson, Sangwani Phiri, has acknowledged receipt of the order.

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Phiri said the development means that the department will not proceed with their plan of ensuring that companies adhere to the ban.

“Automatically, that suspends the whole operation we intended to resume. We intended to start enforcing the ban by contacting all companies that are involved in the manufacturing and selling of plastics in the country. They have appealed on several grounds,” he said.

The ministry banned thin plastics to safeguard the right to a clean and healthy environment.

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