Blantyre — Barely a few days after government issued a ban on selling and or use of plastic bags, some plastic manufacturing companies have already started coming up with new samples of plastic bags that are ready to be submitted to the department of environment for approval.
A representative from Encor plastic company who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Malawi News Agency (Mana) Wednesday that on Tuesday the company produced a lot of plastic bags meant for samples.
"Yes as an employee for the company, I can confirm that on Tuesday night we produced a lot of plastic bags ready to be submitted to government to see if it is the right plastics they are looking for.
"Several companies like People's Trading Centre, Shoprite and others have also requested Encor Company to do samples so that they can show them to the government," he said.
The Ministry of Energy, Mining and Natural Resources issued the ban on behalf of the government and the ban is effective Friday, August 8, 2014.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry, the ban mainly prohibits manufacturing and importation of plastic carrier bags, alcohol sachets and plastic papers used in secondary packaging or wrapping with a thickness of less than 60 microns.
Meanwhile the move has not gone down well with other retailers in Blantyre who say they are making initiatives to comply with the ban while others are waiting for further government direction on the matter.
A visit by Mana around Blantyre on Wednesday revealed that more vendors and those who ply their business from containers are still selling plastic bags despite government issuing a ban on the same.
Director of Environmental Affairs at the department of Environment, Aloescious Kamperewera said the move to ban plastic bags is in the right direction and urged the public to cooperate for the good of preserving the environment.
"The Ministry is hereby informing the general public that non-compliance with the ban is an offense punishable by law. Penalties for non-compliance range from fines to imprisonment.
"Government through the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining will undertake the enforcement activities to ensure that everybody is abiding by the law," said Kamperewera.