Recent data released by the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) reveals that a total of MVR 1.1 million has been collected through the implementation of plastic bag fees. These fees are part of the government’s efforts to reduce plastic waste and promote environmental consciousness among citizens.
According to the data, the revenue from non-tax fees amounted to MVR 220 million, with plastic bag fees contributing to approximately 0.50 per cent of the total revenue. The MVR 2 fee per bag was introduced following the amendment to the Waste Management Act, which came into effect on April 18.
The purpose of imposing the fee on plastic bags is to discourage their excessive use by the general public. Consequently, businesses have adapted to the new regulation by selling plastic bags that were previously provided free of charge. As a result, consumers now bear the cost of purchasing the bags in addition to the fee.
It is worth noting that certain provisions of the Waste Management Act exempt specific types of bags from the fee. For example, bags used for selling non-packaged fresh fish are not subject to the MVR 2 charge. Therefore, customers purchasing unpackaged fish from markets or other sources are not required to pay for the bags used to store their purchases.