AG set to challenge plastic manufacturers’ injunction

The Ministry of Justice says it is ready to challenge the injunction obtained by plastic paper manufacturing companies saying the development by these companies was counterproductive.

On June 20, 2024, plastic paper manufacturing companies led by Golden Plastic Limited withdrew their case but surprisingly, 11 other companies who were not part of the previous case obtained a fresh injunction restraining the government from effecting the ban.

The new 11 companies that obtained a fresh injunction are City Plastics Industry, Flexo Pack Ltd, G. Plastics Wholesale and Retail, G.S Plastic Industry, Jagot Plastics Ltd, O.G Plastics Industries (2008) Ltd, Plastimax Ltd, Polypack Ltd, Qingdao Recycling Ltd, Sharma Industries and Shore Rubber (Lilongwe) Ltd.

In a Press statement that Malawi News Agency (Mana) has seen, the Ministry of Justice has said what these companies have done means the implementation of the ban on thin plastics by the Ministry of Natural Resources was now put on hold again unless this new injunction was fought and vacated.

“The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, dismissed with costs a ‘thin plastics’ case where companies in the plastic-making business were pursuing an appeal. The dismissal followed a notice of withdrawal filed by lawyers for the appellants, representing Golden Plastics Limited.

“If these companies indeed have sufficient interest in the case, what made them not join the initial case that has been in court for years? This is a clear abuse of court process,” the Statement reads in part.

The Ministry described the development as a tactic by the plastic companies to delay implementation of the ban by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change or Malawi Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) from enforcing the ban on thin plastics.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change Public Relations Officer (PRO), Frank Nkondetseni said this was a worrisome development and the Ministry was very disappointed because MEPA was well set to embark on enforcement activities to get rid of thin plastics which are a threat to the environment.

“With the injunction, we cannot talk much because the matter is in court,” he added.

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