The case for banning single use plastics in Malawi

17 April 2019

Jane Turpie, Gwyneth Letley, Yolanda Ng’oma, Kate Moore

In 2015, Malawi became one of Africa’s first countries to impose a ban on plastic bags, following global concerns around the environmental damages caused by single-use plastics and joining a surge of policy instruments to deal with the issue in Africa. However, this led to a backlash from the business community, who argued in court that the ban would lead to economic costs and job losses, following which Malawi stopped implementing the Environment Management (Plastics) Regulations of 2015 in accordance with a court order. Meanwhile, the Malawian government has signed and committed to the new United Nations Environment Assembly resolution on addressing single-use plastic products pollution. The country is now reconsidering its policies on plastics.

This paper summarises the case for banning single-use plastics in Malawi, based on available information from Malawi as well as research and experience from Africa and the rest of the world. The authors argue that not only should Malawi reinstate its ban on plastic bags, but extend the ban to all single-use plastics.

EfD Authors
Publication reference
: Turpie, J., Letley, G., Ng’oma, Y & Moore, K. 2019. The case for banning single use plastics in Malawi. Report prepared for UNDP on behalf of the Government of Malawi by Anchor Environmental Consultants in collaboration with Lilongwe Wildlife Trust. Anchor Environmental Consultants Report No. AEC/1836/1. 72pp.
Publication | 17 March 2021