Maldives proposes ban on single-use plastic imports from 2021

Parliamentarians in Maldives are debating a bill that — if approved — will see a ban on the import of single-use plastics from 2021.

The amendment to the Import Export Act proposes taxing single-use plastic items such as straws, disposable film and plates for the rest of the year.

It will be followed by a complete ban from January 2021.

In 2019, the parliament passed a resolution to ban single-use plastics in Maldives from 2025.

The government also has a similar target.

An estimated 8m metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year. The problem is found in every known ecosystem and at every level of the food chain. If current marine pollution trends continue, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by the year 2050.

Plastic waste is a well-documented issue in the Maldives as well, with ocean plastic regularly washing up on its pristine beaches.

Known internationally as one of the world’s best scuba diving destinations, the Maldives has an abundance of dive sites with a unique underwater beauty to explore. The islands of the Maldives have consistently warm waters with outstanding visibility throughout the year, and consist of exhilarating dive sites such as vibrant thilas, exciting channels, coral-filled overhangs and fascinating wrecks.

Maldives’ world-renowned coral reefs play a fundamental role in food production, shoreline protection, and tourism revenue, but ocean plastic threatens the survival of shallow coral reefs.

Preservation of the reefs has become more important than ever. Preventing plastic pollution is key to the conservation efforts.

Photo: Parley for the Oceans

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