Sunday, May 26, 2024

Thilafushi in the Maldives: A journey from a trash island to sustainable waste management

Tackling the Maldives' trash island | Global Opportunity Explorer

Thilafushi, in the Maldives, is not your typical tourist destination. It’s possible that it’s not even a full-fledged “destination.” This is why: Thilafushi is a man-made island in the Maldives. It is located near Malé, the Maldives’ capital city.

Thilafushi was built in the 1990s as a landfill for the Maldives’ waste. It is now a waste management and recycling hub, with a thriving industrial sector. What a 180° turn for this one!

Thilafushi is also known as a “trash island” or a “rubbish island” because it was originally built as a landfill to handle the waste of the Maldives. As the Maldives’ population and tourism grew, so did the amount of waste produced. Yes, that is the negative side of tourism.

Maldives' Thilafushi – the story of a trash island's journey to sustainable waste management, Maldives - Times of India Travel

Thilafushi gradually became a dump for all kinds of waste, including hazardous materials such as batteries and electronics. The landfill quickly became overburdened, and waste began to spill into the surrounding waters, causing environmental damage to the marine ecosystem. That comes as no surprise!

Thilafushi: the "Rubbish Island" – Malé, Maldives - Atlas Obscura

This is made possible by the efforts of concerned citizens and environmental organizations that are constantly looking for new ways to use waste. People are very serious about “Reuse.” “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.”


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