MOPA, partners ramp up PET Plastic collection initiatives across Maldives

The Maldives Ocean Plastics Alliance (MOPA) and its partners have expanded the NGO’s flagship PET collection projects to include more islands and resorts across the Maldives, in a bid to solve plastic waste pollution in Maldives and create a circular economy for plastic.

Launched on December 10, 2020, the Plastic Reverse Logistics Project involves a strong partnership with Male’ Aerated Water Company Limited (bottlers of ‘Coca-Cola’ beverages), Happy Market Private Limited (bottlers of ‘Life’ mineralised water) and Island Beverages Maldives (bottlers of ‘Taza’ mineralised water) who are voluntarily implementing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the Maldives to give a new life to the 100% recyclable and versatile PET.

The project began with daily collection of used PET bottles – all 100% recyclable and has inherent value to the Maldives’ economy – from over 120 retail outlets, including eateries, restaurants and cafés in the Greater Male’ area. It now includes 263 eateries in Male’ city and its satellite town of Hulhumale’. A second initiative, Island PET Collection Project, has expanded collection to outer atolls, with active operations now in three islands.

MOPA recently announced a third initiative to accelerate action to tackle plastic waste. The complementary Resort PET Collection Project, which was launched in December 2021, aims to recover and recycle empty PET bottles from the more than 150 resorts across the archipelago, further expanding the initiatives to reduce our reliance on new plastic and ensuring bottles don’t enter the oceans.

In April, the Island PET Collection Project saw the launch of its collection operation in K. Hinmafushi, and a significant ramp up in collection from K. Thulusdhoo (approximately 3,420kgs to date) and Dh. Kudahuvadhoo (approximately 3000kgs to date).

The Resort PET Collection Project now counts five resort operators as its partners: Adaaran Resorts Maldives, Movenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa, and Kurumba Maldives. In just six months of the project’s launch, 926kgs of PET have been collected from these resort islands.

“We ended 2021 with an impressive achievement of close to 1,000 kilos of PET collection, and 2022 is off to a strong start. As we aim to increase our collection efforts across the Maldives, this is only made possible thanks to the dedication and commitment of our partners. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of our partners for their support,” says Thoriq Ibrahim, MOPA Founder and President.

The collected PET bottles – the most widely recycled plastic in the world – are handed over to Parley Maldives to be recycled and upcycled into everyday items like branded footwear, swimwear and garments. This national multi-stakeholder partnership project brings together numerous companies with a common vision to create a circular economy for plastic and a better shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities and our planet.

“We are delighted to see the results of our strong partnership with MOPA and the impact these initiatives continue to have the communities that we operate and serve. As Coca-Cola’s bottling partner in Maldives, we will continue to explore all avenues to create a circular economy to effectively address plastic pollution,” says Sanjay Maniku, Managing Director of Malé Aerated Water Company.

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