President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Monday ratified the Waste Management Act (Law No: 24/2022). Parliament passed the bill at the 43rd sitting of its third session on Monday, November 28, 2022.

The law governs the implementation and enforcement of sustainable waste management practises and policies drawn up to mitigate the negative effects of waste and protect public health, and it outlines the standards and procedures for sustainable waste management. The bill also specifies administrative and punitive measures and penalises criminal offences.

The purposes of the law include reducing pollution and environmental damage caused by waste, encouraging the reduction of public health risks, reducing the production of waste, and encouraging the recycling and reusing of waste. The law also specifies penalties for any form of damage to waste management systems, including mismanagement and negligence.

The bill empowers the relevant Cabinet Minister to draw up a waste reduction strategy and grants a 12-month period from the ratification of the law to draw up a sustainable waste management strategy. The Minister will also have 12 months to draw up a national masterplan on waste management and one month to draw up an action plan to encourage and reward waste management initiatives.

The law also defines procedures for reducing single-use plastics (SUPs), charging for plastic bags, accruing fees, and penalising for offences prohibited in the law. Upon ratification, the law was published in the Government Gazette and is now in effect.