Maalhos to do away with plastic bags
by Thoriq Abdul Rahman
Baa atoll Maalhos, in association with Maldives Getaways, has launched a project to make the island free of plastic bags.
The project will be implemented gradually, with the first step being to sell plastic bags from shops instead of providing them for free to shoppers.
Maldives telecommunications company Dhiraagu on Thursday provided an added impetus to the project by gifting 1,000 reusable bags.
The island council’s president Ibrahim Shujau said that discussions will be launched with the island’s residents on the “Ban the Bags” initiative by Maldives Getaways to make Maldives a plastic bag free archipelago by the year 2020.
Pointing out the damaging effect of plastic bags on the Maldives environment, Maldives Getaways Managing Director Akhmeem Abdul Razzak said that plastic bags posed a mortal danger to marine ecosystems.
The company has already succeeded in making three islands free of plastic bags, namely Bodufulhadhoo and Ukulhas from North Ari atoll and Keyodhoo from Vaavu atoll.
Maldives Getaways said that 10 other islands from Baa atoll – which is a UNESCO biosphere reserve – will join the plastic bag ban project.
Shujau said that this year Maalhos, which has a population of 688, will also launch a project to do away with plastic bottles – an initiative by the island’s bottling plant which will switch to provide drinking water in glass bottles.