United Nations
Introduce legal framework to reduce plastic pollution
by Ministry of Environment and Energy, Maldives (Government)
The Maldives has a high level of plastic bag consumption and plastic pollution of the marine environment. Import data show that in 2016 alone, the country had imported almost 40 million plastic bags. The current import levels of plastic bags result in high levels of littering and in an inefficient use of resources; and with over 99% of the country comprising of seas, plastic pollution poses an easy threat to the environment.

Apart from the threats of plastic pollution; such as marine life mortality, fisheries and coastal area degradation and decreased beach value with subsequent negative impacts on tourism; the capital city of Male faces flooding due to blocks in the drainage system. Plastic packaging waste is responsible for blocking the drainage systems and exacerbating monsoon floods. Littering of plastic bags result in environmental pollution and aggravates an already widespread problem of litter in the beaches and seas, threatening fragile reef systems and certain economic activities such as fisheries and tourism which are heavily dependent on the environment in Maldives.

The objective is to minimize plastic waste and marine pollution. Implementation would include the progressive phasing out of non-biodegradable plastic bags, bottles and packaging, and would promote the use biodegradable plastics. The legal frameworks, once developed, would outline the governance mechanisms.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Plastics product bans or restrictions
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
December 2020
National adoption, implementation and enforcement on non-biodegradable plastic bag bans.
July 2018
Propose bill to develop legal framework on non-biodegradable plastic bag and bottle phase-out, and for the mandatory condition of using biodegradable plastics for packaging nationwide.
Staff / Technical expertise
Staff and technical expertise
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 June - 2020 December
Ministry of Environment and Energy
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Mohamed Zahir, Director General, , environment@environment.gov.mv, +9607771504
Male', Maldives
Other SDGs
United Nations