Vice President Faisal Naseem on Wednesday called on the public to reduce the amount of waste produced on a national scale. He made the statement while speaking at the PROMISE Sustainability Awards 2022. Prevention of Marine Litter in the Lakshadweep Sea (PROMISE) is supported by the European Union—under the Switch Asia Programme—to target marine litter along the Lakshadweep shorelines of the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India.

Upon extending greetings on the occasion of World Ocean Day, the Vice President said that the oceans are our biggest asset, stating that they provide food, water, and revenue through tourism. He then stressed our collective responsibility to protect our oceans to secure our livelihoods, climate, and children’s future.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice President said that pollution poses the biggest threat to the oceans. He emphasised how waste collected near coastal mounds finds its way into water bodies and the correlation between pollutants contaminating marine ecosystems and the increased amount of microplastics in the food we consume. He then stressed the severe impact of microplastics in the oceans on marine life and our livelihoods.

The Vice President also lauded the administration’s remarkable efforts in confronting the issue, stating that the recent adoption of waste segregation in the Malé region is already showing signs of progress. He stated that waste segregation demonstrates to future generations our environmental stewardship by encouraging mindfulness in the waste we produce and allowing for better waste management that has the potential to generate energy or income.

The Vice President stressed the urgency of reducing waste generated on a national scale and emphasised the Maldives’ plan to phase out single-use plastics by 2023. Highlighting the innovative waste management solutions employed by micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in the tourism industry in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India, the Vice President applauded the efforts of the PROMISE project in guiding enterprises in building the best waste management practises to protect the oceans.