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Research tips government on plastic management

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

Recent research findings on plastic management have underscored the need to find and strengthen ways of promoting proper use of plastics in the country.

Leadership for Environment and Development (Lead) conducted the research in collaboration with international scholars.

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The research by Professor Sosten Chiotha of Lead, Professor Sarah Gabbott and Dr Bernhard Forchtner of Leicester University in the United Kingdom, says plastics continue to have a negative impact on Malawi’s tourism industry and livestock production.

Chiotha, during the dissemination of the report, said apart from imposing a ban on the use of thin plastics, there is need raise more awareness on positives of proper use of plastics.

“If the ban goes through, it would help to support the efforts that the government is making in trying to reduce the availability of these plastics that cannot be recycled. However, the ban itself is one aspect. The bigger aspect that is needed to take into considering is that we should not throw away plastics,” he said.

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Environmental Affairs Director, Taonga Mbale, said the government is failing to continue with its awareness campaigns as it is still tussling in court with manufacturing companies on its decision to ban the use of thin plastics.

Currently, the department awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on its application to dismiss an appeal that the companies made on the case.

“We are prepared to prove the case because we believe that we have the justification to have the ruling in our favour,” she said.

Gabbot, from school of Geography, Geology ad Environment, said while it is very difficult in many countries to implement the ban, there is need to find alternatives to thin plastics that people can use.

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