Thin plastics legal obstacle removed

Thin plastics legal obstacle removed

The Malawi Environment Protection Authority (Mepa) can now enforce the thin plastics ban after Chief Justice Rizine Mzikamanda yesterday declined to grant an extension of the July 2021 order.

The Chief Justice declined the extension when parties appeared before him to submit documentation on the matter to reconstruct the case file after the initial file reportedly went missing.

Golden Plastics Limited, through private practice lawyer Frank Mbeta, sought an extension of a stay of the High Court judgement until an appeal of the judgement was heard and concluded.

The stay order in the Civil Appeal Cause No. 29 of 2021 was obtained after the government banned manufacturing, distribution, sale, exportation and importation of thin plastic bags of less than 60 microns.

Vendors sell thin plastics in streets of Blantyre City

But after hearing both parties, Mzikamanda said he was not convinced with the grounds advanced by Mbeta in his application to have the stay order extended.

He said: “This application cannot be sustained so I refuse to grant an extension. I am not convinced that there are sufficient grounds for that extension.

“The order of stay expired, it is no longer valid, which means now there is no order of stay in the implementation of regulations that were promulgated in 2015.”

However, regarding the issue of appeal, the Chief Justice directed the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal registrar that the matter be brought before a full bench of the Supreme Court on June 6 2024 to determine or give directions before hearing.

In his reaction after the ruling, Mbeta said they would wait for the date set by the Chief Justice when everything would become clear on the directions and how the appeal should proceed.

On his part, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda said he was “very happy and satisfied” with the outcome.

Plastic manufacturers obtained the injunction against a government ban on thin plastics and argued that the decision was unconstitutional and infringed on their business rights.

On April 18 2024, the Chief Justice, who was prompted by letters from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change and the Attorney General following up on the delayed judgement, told the parties there were two options on the protracted matter which were either to reconstruct the missing file or to rehear the matter

The post Thin plastics legal obstacle removed first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Thin plastics legal obstacle removed appeared first on Nation Online.