Plastic Pollution

The Crucial Fight Against Plastic Pollution in Mauritius – Grace Cummings

The magnificent island of Mauritius is nestled in the Indian Ocean and is renowned for its vibrant marine life, lush landscapes, and stunning beaches. However, there is a growing environmental crisis that is threatening the very essence of what makes Mauritius so enchanting. The preservation of its natural beauty and protection of the health, economy, and future of this unique island is being jeopardized by plastic pollution.

The problem?

Plastic pollution is a global issue but particularly greatly impacts island ecosystems like Mauritius. The country’s coastline stretches over 330 kilometers and is a magnet for both locals and tourists and plastic waste accumulation. From single-use plastic straws and bags to larger debris items like fishing nets, the shores and waters of Mauritius are increasingly choked with plastic waste. Not only is this pollution an eyesore to all of the beauty on the island, but it also poses a severe threat to all marine and human life.

Marine life, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, James Watt

Threats to Marine Life

The crystal-clear water surrounding Mauritius is home to a rich diversity of marine species, including fish, sea turtles, and coral reefs. Plastic pollution causes a huge disruption to this delicate ecosystem in a variety of different ways. Marine animals often mistake the plastic debris for food, leading to starvation, injury, or death. Additionally, they can become entangled in plastic waste like discarded fishing nets which leads to suffocation, drowning, or severe injuries.

This problem is also a huge threat to the once vibrant and abundant coral reefs. The plastic can smother the coral reefs, block the sunlight needed to grow, and introduce harmful toxins that lead to coral bleaching and degradation.

Threats to Human Health

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that are a result of the breakdown of larger debris and have been found in fish consumed by humans. These microplastics can carry harmful pollutants and chemicals which pose health risks when ingested. Additionally, the burning of plastic waste can release toxic fumes that lead to respiratory problems and other health issues.

Threats to the Economy

Mauritius’ economy heavily relies on tourism for its pristine beaches, vibrant marine life, and clear waters. However, plastic pollution is threatening this vital industry. Beaches are becoming littered with plastic waste and the cost to clean and mitigate its effects places another financial burden on local authorities and communities.


Despite these challenges, Mauritius is actively taking steps to combat plastic pollution. The government has implemented policies to reduce single-use plastics through bans on plastic bags and straws. Also, community-led initiatives and NGOs are playing a crucial role in raising awareness, organizing beach clean-ups, and promoting sustainable practices.

Many education and awareness campaigns and workshops are also being hosted to help change behaviors and attitudes towards plastic use. Encouraging the use of reusable alternatives, promoting proper waste management, and supporting recycling programs are key components of a comprehensive strategy to tackle plastic pollution.

Washed up plastic on Mauritius beach, Precious Plastic Mauritius