A survey conducted by Lilongwe Wildlife Trust has found that 94% of respondents support a national ban on thin plastic bags in Malawi. The poll also found that 95% think that plastic waste and plastic pollution are a serious issue for the country.
The findings come in the week leading up to a Malawi Supreme Court ruling on 16 April on whether to implement a national ban on the production and use of thin plastics. The ban was originally introduced by the Government in 2014 before being successful challenged by the plastic industry.
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, a campaigning NGO which works to protect Malawi’s biodiversity, is calling for the Supreme Court to reinstate the ban which many believe would relieve the pressure on Malawi’s environment posed by non-recyclable plastic pollution.
An estimated 75,000 tonnes of plastic is currently produced in Malawi each year, of which 80% is single-use plastic that cannot be recycled and plastic production has roughly doubled globally in the past 30 years.
Only 9% of the nine billion tonnes of plastics ever produced have been recycled, the rest ending up in landfills and dumps, or polluting land, rivers, and oceans.
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust’s online survey, which polled over 1,500 people, also found that 97% believe that plastic waste poses a risk to people, animals, and the environment.