Hon. Minister Aminath Shauna, the minister of environment communication and technology, attended an event at the Artificial Beach in Maldives, featuring a beach cleanup organized by the US Mission to Maldives and the American Center. This event marked the official launch of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s five-year, $5.8 million project to tackle plastic pollution in the Maldives and Sri Lanka, known as the USAID Ocean Plastics Reduction Activity.
The project commenced in December 2022 and aims to reduce environmental plastic by decreasing plastic inputs and improving integrated solid waste management practices in both countries. With a focus on reducing ocean plastic pollution, the project will fund activities that promote the 3R principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling, as well as improving government capacity to manage the use and disposal of plastics.
The objectives of the project include reducing the need for new plastic inputs and products, improving and expanding waste management with an emphasis on reducing plastic waste in the environment, supporting local communities to take the lead in developing waste management solutions, and improving the conditions that enable better waste management with a focus on reducing plastic waste in the ocean.
The project aims to prioritize comprehensive private-sector engagement, locally-led solutions, and gender equality for women, youth, and marginalized groups. The approach aims to maximize impact by combining proven and innovative solutions from government, donors, industries, and local initiatives, partner with a variety of local groups, and focus on strengthening the entire waste management and environmental protection system at the national, atoll, and island levels through targeted activities.
The project is set to prevent thousands of tons of plastic from leaking into the environment and increase solid waste management and 3R behaviors at household, community, and private sector levels. With a budget of $5,737,111.75, the project will run from September 30, 2022, to September 29, 2027.