Environmental activists to petition court over thin plastics ban


Civil Society Organisations (CSO) have announced plans to petition the Registrar of the High Court as one way of ensuring that the Judiciary makes a ruling on thin plastics ban.

CSO leaders made the remarks at a press briefing held in Blantyre on Tuesday as part of World Environment Day commemorations. The day falls on June 5.

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


However, manufacturing companies obtained a court injunction that saw the country continuing to import, produce and use thin plastics. It is the delay to make a determination on the same that seems to have rattled CSO leaders.

“It has been [a] very long [time] since manufacturing companies obtained an injunction, so we have decided to petition the High Court so that they can expedite the ruling in the case. This will help us to see the way forward in our campaign to have the ban enforced,” said a representative of the CSOs, Chris Mwambene, who is also Coordination Union for the Rehabilitation of the Environment Executive Director.

The CSOs said thin plastics pose serious risks to human beings when consumed indirectly through fish as they can lead to diseases such as cancer.


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

Some of the CSO leaders at the press briefing were Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi officials and scholars from The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, among others.

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

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