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Ministry pounces on Chinese company

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The government has started pouncing on companies that are defying its ban on thin plastics’ production.

The latest victim of the government’s crackdown is the Chinese company Qingdao, which had some of its properties confiscated Wednesday.

Officials from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) confiscated machinery from the company’s premises. This comes after a court in Lilongwe ordered, in March last year, that the company be closed for flouting the ban on thin plastics’ production.

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“The dismantling of the machines is part of the punishment [to the company] for not adhering to the court order. The machines will be kept at a government warehouse before being auctioned,” DEA Senior Environmental Officer Chifundo Chinyama said.

In March 2020, Qingdao Plastic Limited was ordered to close after it was found to be producing thin plastics of less than 60 micron, which is contrary to environmental management regulations on plastics.

Owner of the company pleaded guilty to the charge and Lilongwe Magistrates’ Court convicted him on August 5 2020.

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The conviction was the first since the ban on thin plastics’ production was imposed in 2019.

In 2015, Malawi became one of the first countries in Africa to impose a ban on plastic bags, following global concerns on the damage caused by the products.

The government signed and committed to enforce United Nations Environment Assembly resolutions on single-use plastic products, which are said to contribute to pollution.

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