Plastic Bag Tax Revenue Surpasses MVR 8.3 Million

The Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) reported a collection of MVR 8.3 million in bag tax revenue last month.

To address environmental concerns related to single-use plastic bags, a fee of MVR 2 was imposed in April. In May, MIRA started including revenue from plastic bag fees in its income report.

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The most recent revenue report for September indicates that the lowest collection from plastic bags was in September, with fees amounting to MVR 400,000. In contrast, the highest revenue was recorded in August, totalling MVR 1.71 million.

Here’s a breakdown of revenue earned from plastic bag fees:

  • May: MVR 1.17 million
  • June: MVR 778,698
  • July: MVR 4.18 million
  • August: MVR 1.71 million
  • September: MVR 484,246
  • Total: MVR 8.3 million

On December 18, 2022, an amendment to the law was ratified, allowing customers to receive a refund of Rf 2 from their bags. The revised act mandates a fee of MVR 2 for each plastic bag, regardless of whether it is sold or provided free. If the seller of plastic bags is registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST), they must also apply GST to the bag’s price.

In response to public concerns, the government introduced an amendment to the Waste Management Act in parliament this month, suggesting a reduced charge of 50 Laari for bags instead of the initially proposed MVR 2. Additionally, the bill proposes that fees for bags used to carry raw fish products or for waste disposal should be exempted, and it aims to revise the fee collection system to reduce administrative burdens on retail shops and cafes.

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