Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy, and Mines has closed the operations of Chinese-owned company, Qingdao Plastics Limited, for continuing to produce thin plastics of less than 60 microns, despite a ban.
In an interview after issuing the closure order, Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) principal environmental officer Peter Magombo said the department has in the recent past intensified inspection on thin plastics on the market.
He said: “We have intensified inspection of manufacturers, importers and even retailers of plastics following the ban on thin plastics last year by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal ruling.
“We have come to issue a closure order to Qingdao Plastics Limited because they are not complying with a ban of manufacturing thin plastics.”
Prior to the Friday closure, Qingdao had been closed twice before for other offences, including not producing effluent.
The company’s management was reportedly in China at the time of the closure; hence, we could not get a comment from them.
However, environmental activist Matthews Malata commended the move, saying the closure of the company is a move in the right direction as all economies across the globe are going green and Malawi cannot be left behind.
He called on government to continue encouraging green investments, considering the challenges we are having as a country due to the use of thin plastics.
If Malawi goes all out in effecting the ban on importation, production and use of thin plastics, it will join other African countries such as Tanzania and Rwanda which are managing plastic pollution.
The thin plastics were banned in the country for the threat they pose to the environment due to their delayed rate of decomposition.