Ban on styrofoam containers and plastic bottles delayed

Styrofoam food container | Photo: Superior Equipment Supply

Malé, Maldives – While the ban on single-use plastic went into effect today, there are some amendments to the initial plan.

Under the announced amendments, the planned date for enforcement of this ban on importing styrofoam containers was changed, from 01st June 2021 to 21st December 2021.

Additionally, the implementation date for the import ban on carbonated and non-carbonated drinks in plastic packaging was amended to 1 June 2022, extending the period by one year.

The President’s decree include adding hair conditioner bottles and body lotions bottles in single-use plastic packaging to the existing lists of shampoo and soap of similar sizes and packaging. The enforcement dates remain unchanged, with the ban on said items under 50ml coming into effect on 01st June 2021 and the same items between 50ml and 200ml coming into effect 01st December 2021, respectively. Further, definitions for several items were revised from P.E.T bottles to single-use plastic bottles.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih issued a decree yesterday announcing amendments to the list of single-use plastics banned from import into the Maldives. He made this decree under section 7 of the Import-Export Act (Act no. 31/79), which vests the President with the power to prohibit the import of single-use plastic items by predetermined deadlines as part of a gradual phase-out effort.

This is a milestone achievement in the island nation’s fight against climate change. However, allowances are made due to Covid-19.

Phasing out the use of SUPs in the Maldives is one of the incumbent government’s key environmental pledges.

Due to difficulties in transport and taking into consideration the negative consequences on businesses, the ministry has decided to allow the entry of single-use plastic goods for which the airway bill is issued before 1 June 2021, even after tomorrow.

The decree and amendments made have been published in the Government Gazette and comes into immediate effect.