MOPA meets new Environment Minister; reaffirms commitment to support government initiatives to phase-out plastics and enhance waste management

Press Release
Meeting with Minister of Environment

Male’, 13th July 2021 (Tuesday) – Officials of the Maldives Ocean Plastics Alliance (MOPA), led by Founder and President Thoriq Ibrahim, has met with the country’s new Environment Minister.

Welcoming Hon. Aminath Shauna, Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, her erstwhile predecessor reaffirmed MOPA’s commitment to support the Maldives Government in its initiatives to phase-out plastics in the country.

Minister Shauna briefed MOPA on the ongoing major project to enhance waste management in Thilafushi. Highlighting that, starting in early 2022, waste from resort and inhabited islands can be segregated at Thilafushi, and that the capital Male’ would be included thereafter. She noted the importance of behavioral changes in household waste segregation to achieve the project’s lofty outcomes.

Elaborating on the government’s plastics phase-out plan, the Minister said that certain shopping bags, 500 ml imported PET water bottles, cotton buds with plastic coating as well as plastic cutlery cannot be imported into Maldives since June. Looking ahead, she stated that the bill in Parliament at present will address local plastic production, and that the bill is likely to be passed soon.

Briefing the Minister on MOPA’s work, including the successful PET reverse logistics project, MOPA President Thoriq delivered a presentation on MOPA and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation with the government. He informed the Minister of MOPA’s desire to have its own recycling facility in the future, and to work more closely with WAMCO in improving waste collection and segregation in the capital Male’. On this point, he elaborated that MOPA plans to place dustbins across the city to facilitate plastic segregation, and that WAMCO’s support was crucial towards rolling out this project in the near future.

In the meeting, MOPA Executive Committee Member Ahmed Maumoon said that there is scope for 100% plastic recycling in the Maldives, if NGOs, tourism industry and the government can work in partnership. Tourism Industry and Government if working together believe we can do the recycling very efficiently. We can focus on 100% plastic recycling in Maldives.