Malawi's ban on plastic bags is reinstated, campaigners hail 'fantastic victory'





Judges overturn injunction won by plastic manufacturers after thin plastic bags were outlawed

Malawi’s highest court has imposed a ban on plastic bags, a huge milestone for the government and environmental charities who beat off challenges from some of the country’s big manufacturers.

The government imposed the ban on thin plastic bags in 2015, but the move was overturned by the high court after a number of plastic manufacturers who operate in the southern-east African nation obtained an injunction, citing an “infringement of business rights”.

Delivering the verdict on Thursday, a panel of seven judges dismissed the appeal.

Companies who violate the ban face fines and the closure of their factories.

The decision places Malawi among a handful of African countries that have passed plastic bans or operate them. Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda are among the others.

Sangwani Mwafulirwa, a spokesperson for the department of environmental affairs, said the government was very relieved the verdict had gone in its favour. “We have for over two years struggling to have the case concluded. We are really excited,” he said.

Report in the Guardian