Male’, Maldives – The Government has decided for the import of certain single use plastics, deemed as such by the President, to be banned in Maldives starting from June 1st of 2021.
This was announced following the ratification of the 18th amendment to the export import Act by the President. The amendment was passed by the Parliament of Maldives at the 28th sitting of its third session, on 7th December 2020. Following the ratification of the act, import of any goods declared as single-use plastic by the President, will be prohibited under section 7 of the Act. It states that the President has the authority to compile and publicise a list of goods to be classified as single use plastic which will be banned under the act, and to add or remove items from that list.
Phasing out the use of SUPs in the Maldives is one of the Government’s key environmental pledges. During the first 100 days following his inauguration, President Solih launched a campaign to minimize SUP-use in the President’s Office, where he noted the use of SUPs in the Maldives had been at an alarmingly high level. Research shows that if current trends continue, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050. The Maldives is also a member of the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance, an action group devoted to tackling marine plastic pollution. The first of the plan was the 18th amendment to the act.
As per the amendment, the President has categorised and published 12 categories of single use plastics in the Government Gazette today, import of which are to be banned in Maldives starting from the specified date.
Items declared as single use plastics by the President
- Plastic drinking straw
- Single-use plastic-based plates, cutleries and stirrers.
- Styrofoam lunch box
- Plastic shopping bags below 30×30 cm (including oxo-degradable and synthetic polymer based biodegradable plastics)
- Plastic shopping bags below 50-micron thickness (including oxo degradable and synthetic polymer based biodegradable plastics)
- Imported sweet areca nuts in plastic wrapping
- Single-use plastic cups below 250ml
- Cotton buds with plastic stems
- Shampoo and soap bottles in plastic packaging that are 50 ml and below
- Shampoo and soap bottles in plastic packaging from 50 ml to 200 ml
- All imported beverages in PET bottles below 500 ml (water, carbonated and non-carbonated drinks)
- All imported water that is 01 liter and below packed in P.E.T packaging
In addition to the items, import of which are to banned from June 1st, 2021, this list also includes items which are to be banned from December’s of 2022 and 2023. While the banning of these items has attracted the attention of many, the Government aims to steadily phase out single-use plastic with the implementation of this amendment.