In March 2015, the government of Malawi banned the production, sale and use of single-use plastic bags. However, putting the ban into practice was not easy. The plastic bag manufacturers appealed and got a court injunction to halt the ban. While waiting for their appeal to be heard, they continued to produce and sell the bags. This continued for more than three years.
In 2018 Tearfund in Malawi and several partner organisations formed a new environmental network. The Malawi Creation Care Network put pressure on the high court to make a judgement against the plastic manufacturers’ appeal. They mobilised leaders from churches and NGOs, and teamed up with other networks of local activists. This led to a city-wide march in Blantyre on 5 June 2018 – World Environment Day. A wide variety of people joined the march: NGOs, politicians, church leaders, university students, school wildlife clubs and the general public. They planned an even bigger march to the high court ten days later.
Thankfully, before the second march, the court ruled to uphold the ban. Although the plastic manufacturers have since obtained another injunction against the ban, the matter has now been taken up by parliament, with the speaker of parliament leading the cause. The Creation Care Network and other activists are continuing to advocate strongly for the ban to be upheld.
Would you like to know more about how you can play your part in renewing our world? Check out our waste action page and see how you can take actions to support our global campaign on waste.