Towards Osaka Blue Ocean Vision - G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter


Actions and Progress on Marine Plastic Litter
Last Update : 2021/08/31

Policy framework

National Action Plan

– The Myanmar National Waste Management Strategy and Master Plan (2018-2030) was developed and it aims to build capacity for sustainable waste management and promote development of a conducive policy framework and strategies that transit from a conventional waste management paradigm to sustainable waste management based on waste hierarchy and the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle), in linkage with other national environmental policies.

– The National Plastic Action Plan will be developed by the cooperation of Environmental Conservation Department, relevant Departments and the Development Partners based on a series of pilot scientific field surveys conducted by World Bank to reduce and prevent plastic pollution for a better ecosystem and human health, improve plastic waste management systems and develop laws, rules and regulations, and directives related to plastic that are applicable within Myanmar contexts.

Legal framework

– Name:
1) Environmental Conservation Law (2012)

– Brief description:
Chapter VIII Management of Urban Environment include management of wastes and pollution control.

– Name:
2) Environmental Conservation Rules (2014)

– Brief description:
In Chapter (IX) Waste Management, the Ministry shall carry out waste treatment by the categories of business which emit or produce solid wastes, liquid wastes, emissions, radiations which contain poisonous and hazardous materials by establishing their own facility or centre, or collective facility or centre;




Prevention and reduction of plastic waste generation

Charge for single-use plastic products (e.g. shopping bags, straws)

Targeted products:
polyethylene plastic bags

Brief description:
On October 2009, the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), Myanmar officially announced to ban businesses from manufacturing, importing, trading or distributing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bags for environmental reasons. Two years after Mandalay city’s achievement to prohibit polyethylene bags, the authorities in Yangon also attempted not to allow the production, storage and sales of non-biodegradable waste such as polyethylene bags and ropes in April 22, 2011.

We do not see any particular trend

Due to the government’s weak enforcement for sustainable banning, the plastic culture still remains and returns popularity nationwide.


– Myanmar National Waste Management Strategy and Master Plan for Myanmar for 2018-2030 lists plastic as one of the priority waste streams and generally promotes a 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) approach.

– With the World Bank’s technical assistance under the Regional Marine Plastics Framework and Action Plan through PROBLUE Trust Fund, plastics policy options and a roadmap (draft) have been developed through the survey and assessment of product alternatives for the top 10 priority plastic items leaking into the environment in Myanmar, which will be included in the national plastic action plan. It identified 14 policy options and grouped them into short-term, mid-term, and long-term measures.

– State and Regional Plastic Waste Management Plans are developed by State and Region Environmental Conservation Department staff with the cooperation of other relevant departments and stakeholders.




Environmentally sound waste management


– Myanmar do not allow importing plastic waste but allow the import of plastic scrap only under these criteria:

(a) Plastic scrap to be imported must be clean, homogenous and ready to be used as raw materials.

(b) Recycling factories must have an Approval Letter or Environmental Compliance Certificate of an Environmental Management Plan, Initial Environmental Examination or Environmental Impact Assessment, which is approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.




Cleanup of marine plastic litter

Collection of scattered waste on beach

Names of actions:
Beach Clean up activities by local government and NGO

Brief description:
Local government, Hotel Association and NGO make cleanup activities on Myanmar beaches such as Napali, Chaungtha and Ngwe Saung beach to inspire local communities, governments and students (and parents) on how young people can take action to protect the environment and to aware about single-use plastics and how they can reduce, reuse and recycle.

We see a positive improvement from last two years


– In Myanmar, pollution caused by fishing nets is endangering marine mammals as well as people’s livelihoods and tourism. The Myanmar Ocean Project, which is supported by the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Ocean Conservancy, and National Geographic, surveyed and cleaned up marine habitats around Langann Island, Lampi National Marine Park, and some of the popular dive sites around the Myeik Archipelago. 1,821kg of ALDFG have been removed from sites across the Mergui Archipelago in 2019.




Promotion of innovative solutions


– Since some entrepreneurs are trying to produce environmentally friendly alternative products for plastics, Nature Myanmar Co. is manufacturing biodegradable organic dining ware from areca leaf. These products can be used instead of plastic containers and utensils. They can withstand heat and cold and people can even use them in microwave ovens. Therefore, these products are safe and hygienic enough to be used in the food industry, substituting the use of plastic to some extent. These products are environmentally friendly as they are natural and will decompose in three or six months naturally, but they are a little bit higher in price than that of plastics.




Education and awareness raising

Awareness raising campaigns related to MPL

Local level:
Names of actions:
awareness raising activities

Brief description:
State and region Environmental Conservation Department staff conducted awareness raising activities in states and regions with the cooperation of relevant stakeholders and department.

In order to raise awareness of people on plastic pollution and environmental conservation and to get people more practices, awareness raising and capacity building for local government and communities are conducted by government, NGO and other organizations in Myanmar.




Monitoring & Scientific research on marine plastic litter

Actions for encouraging monitoring / scientific research on plastic flows and ocean surface microplastics

Names of actions:
pilot scientific field surveys on abundant plastic items leaking into the environment

Brief description:
A series of pilot scientific field surveys was carried out by the World Bank in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation to enhance the knowledge base on plastic pollution in Myanmar. The surveys find that the top 10 most abundant plastic items leaking into the environment make up 76% of all waste, and the top five plastic items are responsible for 71% of the waste leakage. Plastic bags alone account for over 30% of the plastic pollution.

Names of actions:
A study conducted by the Fridtjof Nansen research vessel

Brief description:
A study conducted by the Fridtjof Nansen research vessel recently found that micro-plastic particles were widespread, with the highest numbers recorded in the Rakhine area in the shallowest stations. Microplastics were found in 21 out of the 22 Manta trawls of the Leg 3.4a and most of the items found were less than 5 mm in length.

Names of actions:
Plastic survey in Ayeyarwaddy river

Brief description:
A survey on plastic pollution in Myanmar conducted by Fauna and Flora International (FFI) in collaboration with Thant Myanmar reveals that 119 tons of plastic wastes enter the Ayeyarwady River every day. The upper and lower Ayeyarwady regions contribute 90 tons of plastic pollution per day and Yangon, Myanmar’s capital, add 29 tons a day. The majority of plastic found in the river is likely to be mismanaged plastic waste.

1) Actions for encouraging monitoring / scientific research on plastic flows and ocean surface microplastics

Based on these survey result, plastics policy options and a roadmap (draft) have been developed.

Numerical data if any:
The top 10 most abundant plastic items leaking into the environment in Myanmar are as follows;


Small plastic bags andpcs



Crisp and sweet packages



String & cord (less than 1cm)



Styrofoam (food and other)



Plastic pieces< 50cm



Straw cutlery, tray



Medical waste









Fertilizer Bags


Engagement in international/regional level actions for encouraging monitoring / scientific research on plastic flows and ocean surface microplastics

Brief description:
The Ministry of Environment Japan supported Myanmar in training of monitoring methods for floating litter and floating microplastics training based on the 3rd Myanmar-Japan Policy Dialogue on Environmental issues.



  • Check the challenges that your country has faced:
  • Recycling system improvement
  • Proper waste management system (including lack of local capacity)
  • Data collection related to waste in general
  • Data collection related to marine plastic litter
  • Lack of awareness among citizens, business, local governments
  • Lack of financial incentives for waste treatment in general
  • Lack of financial incentives for technology development

Contact details

hlamaungthein.env@gmail .com

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