Seychelles has always prided itself on a clean and safe environment, particularly the marine environment. Solid Waste Management remains one of Seychelles biggest environmental challenges, particularly increasingly the issue of plastic. The government has over the years taken a gradual approach to dealing with plastic products, through the Waste Management Fund, there is an established recycling programme aimed towards PET bottles. Plastic carrier bags has increasingly become a problem, over the past years government started with a policy of restricting a certain degree of thickness allowable for small plastic bags starting at 30 microns to 50 microns.
In 2015, the government announced the intention to start the implementation of a full ban on plastic carrier bags, styrofoam take-away boxes and plastic utensils(spoons, forks, knives, plates,bowls and cups). Working with the Seychelles Revenue Commission as of January 2017 there is now a full ban on importation of these products, as of 1st of July 2017 the full ban on usage and trading of the items will come into force. The Ministry since the announcement of the ban has been working closely with the private sector particularly the importers to ensure that the alternatives gradually are being imported.In reference to education and sensitisation, the government is working closely with local NGOs to educate and sensitise the public about the ban and also the available alternatives.
Internationally, Seychelles has partnered with PARLEY AIR to combat the issue of plastics in the marine environment, towards the end of 2017 the government will start the planning works together with PARLEY AIR to put in place a plastic recycling programme as part of the global PARLEY AIR programme.
In the longer term, the government and its partners intends to establish a centralised recycling center on the main island of Mahe for different waste streams including plastic.
Ban on Importation on plastic products ( shopping carrier bags, styrofoam boxes and utensils)
Establishment of a waste sorting or recycling center on the main island of Mahe
Ban on utilisation of plastic products ( shopping carrier bags, styrofoam boxes and utensils)