The government has banned the import and manufacture of plastic bags thinner than fifty microns and plastic supari bottles.
The move comes as part of the Ministry of Climate Change, Environment, and Energy’s overarching policy to combat the detrimental impact of single-use plastics on the environment.
Effective from January 1, the ban specifically targets plastic bags with a thickness below 50 microns, commonly used for shopping, and supari packaged in plastic bottles. Both products are set to be completely phased out of the market by June of this year.
Furthermore, the government plans to extend the prohibition to include plastic bottled water of one liter and less than one liter, with a ban on import and production scheduled for August. These products are expected to be removed from the market by November. Additionally, the import and manufacture of supari packaged in plastic will face restrictions starting from June 1.
This recent decree, issued by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu on December 1, revises the list of Single-Use Plastics (SUPs) deemed environmentally harmful under the Waste Management Act. The updated list identifies 14 specific SUP items, encompassing various plastic products, and outlines a phased approach to prohibit their import, manufacture, and sale.
The government’s proactive stance builds upon previous measures aimed at curbing the use of single-use plastics, aligning with the ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. The ban reflects an effort to address the adverse effects of plastic pollution and contribute to a cleaner, healthier ecosystem.
It is essential to note that the ban is in line with the Waste Management Act, signaling a departure from the previous regulations governing environmentally harmful SUPs.