Developing an EPR scheme for plastic and packaging waste in the Maldives

Zitahli Resort & Spa - Kuda funafaru, Maldives

The Republic of Maldives covers over 1,000 coral islands; only about one percent of the country’s territory is land area. The coral atolls, as well as other marine flora and fauna of the Maldives’ seas, are under pressure from both an increasing amount of littered plastic wastes as well as from unsafe (plastic) waste management practices.

To address this situation, the government of the Maldives is in the process of mainstreaming and further developing its waste management policies. Following a Strategic Action Plan (2019-2023) and a single-use plastic (SUP) phase-out plan, the government seeks to integrate principles of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by drafting appropriate legislation based on a wide policy mix.

Together with its project partner Zero Waste Maldives, adelphi will support the Government of the Maldives in developing an EPR scheme focused on the internalization of environmental costs and incentives creation for innovative practices. The project will pave the way for circular economy practices and safely managing plastics at the end-of-life. This will be accomplished via a series of different activities:

  • Analyzing the existing regulatory conditions, identifying relevant stakeholders and evaluating the status quo of plastic and packaging waste generation in the Maldives.
  • Engaging stakeholders from the public sector, private sector, and civil society to improve their understanding of the EPR scheme to ensure ownership and discuss their roles and responsibilities within it.
  • Designing an innovation-stimulating EPR scheme for plastic and packaging waste and enabling the Ministry of Environment (MoE) to transpose it into national law.

The project is funded by UNDP via the Ocean Innovation Challenge, a new mechanism that has been designed to accelerate progress on SDG14 (Life Below Water) by identifying, financing, advising and mentoring truly innovative, entrepreneurial and creative approaches to ocean and coastal restoration and protection that sustains livelihoods and advances the blue economy.