The Maldives’ huge waste management challenge threatens ocean and marine life. Government and non-governmental organizations have conducted environmental awareness and education programs; although, such short-lived, one-off awareness raising approaches have been unsuccessful. Our research using a modified Trials of Improved Practices (TIPs) approach looked into replacing plastic bags used in households with reusable ones, particularly for shopping. Households found changing to reusable bags hard due to habit, but a bigger barrier was the municipal waste collection guidelines that require disposal of waste in a plastic bag. Though households are aware of and interested in reducing environmental impacts, all participating households stated they cannot fully change to reusable bags.

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