Plastic Innovation Grant projects launched on World Environment Day 2023
June 6, 2023
Plastic pollution is not just an environmental issue; it contributes to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. The adverse effects on human health, the economy, and the environment are increasingly evident. Shockingly, every minute, the equivalent of one truckload of plastic enters the sea, resulting in devastating consequences for marine life and ecosystems and requires immediate action and collective responsibility.
“Every year, 11 million tons of plastic find their way into our oceans. Current predictions indicate that by 2040, this figure will triple if we do not take action. It is crucial for us to collaborate and unite our efforts to overcome this challenge,” said Ahmed Shifaz, Assistant Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Maldives.
On World Environment Day 2023, UNDP Maldives, together with the Global Environment Facility's Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) in the Maldives, granted a total of USD 200,000 to four local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as part of the Plastic Innovation Grant.
These grants will contribute positively to the circular economy vision of Fuvahmulah City Council. They support sustainable initiatives proposed by the NGOs to take action against plastic pollution in Fuvahmulah City, an island-atoll with over 13,000 residents that generates 7 to 10 tons of waste daily.
The recipients of these grants are Zero Waste Maldives, Women In Fuvahmulah, Maldives Authentic Crafts Cooperative Society (MACCS) and No Plastic Maldives.
Zero Waste Maldives is actively addressing the challenges of waste segregation in Fuvahmulah City. Through comprehensive trainings, waste audits, system assessments, and workshops, they are promoting effective waste management practices and fostering waste-to-wealth activities.
'Ekal Kuni-Mikal Kaadhu' Project by Women In Fuvahmulah focuses on organic waste management and aims to turn waste into wealth while protecting the island's ecosystem through sustainable practices and community engagement. With the support of GEF-SGP and UNDP, Women In Fuvahmulah is making a significant impact on reducing the waste entering the waste management sites in Fuvahmulah.
Accurate data is essential for effective waste management, yet it often gets overlooked. In Fuvahmulah, No Plastic Maldives, in collaboration with GEF-SGP and UNDP, is introducing an Open Data Management System. This data-driven solution provides crucial insights for informed decision-making, enabling policymakers and stakeholders to devise effective strategies in the fight against plastic pollution.
MACCS is driving a circular economy in Fuvahmulah through a localized waste management strategy, sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics, and conservation efforts. By prioritizing well-being, livelihood, and women empowerment, MACCS holistic approach ensures a comprehensive and sustainable response to plastic pollution.
Together with the Fuvahmulah City Council, we also provided tote bags made from upcycled materials at the event. The bags were locally sewn by women from Fuvahmulah. This initiative was led by MACCS and aims to reduce the use of single use plastic bags to beat plastic pollution and promotes livelihoods and women empowerment.
By fostering community engagement, implementing innovative solutions, and supporting transformative initiatives, we can beat plastic pollution and secure a brighter, cleaner future for all.