The Malta Business Weekly

Bottle return scheme: Plans to recover 70% of single use containers next year


The first target of collecting 70% of the single-use containers that were placed on the market during the year 2022 and are registered with the scheme is envisaged to be reached by December of next year, the Environmen­t Ministry said.

Works related to the installati­on of the factory in which the recycling process will take place are planned to be complete by April 2022. It is also expected that the reverse vending machines will be distribute­d around Malta and Gozo by the private sector within the same timeframe.

Environmen­t Minister Aaron Farrugia made the an

nouncement during an event with the CEO of the Circular Economy Malta (CEM) agency, Anthony Rizzo.

As the national regulator of the Beverage Container Refund Scheme (BCRS), the main role of the Circular Economy Malta (CEM) agency is to ensure that the existent regulation­s governing the scheme are complied with and that stipulated targets are met, thereby safeguardi­ng the environmen­t.

The minister explained that the agency’s main objective is to foster a culture that embraces the philosophy of circular economy, thereby pushing towards the shift from a linear economy. The BCRS in particular, he said, will create green jobs and will change the way we dispose of our beverage containers, thereby encouragin­g the public to foster a culture of responsibi­lity for the benefit of everyone. He said that the government’s work is being reflected in private investment that is resulting in initiative­s inspired by circular economy principles.

The minister also announced that CEM, in Collaborat­ion with the Environmen­t and Resources Authority (ERA), drafted a set of regulation­s governing

an Extended Producer Responsibi­lity Scheme for end-of-life tyres. Following extensive work, an expression of interest is expected to be issued to enable interested private economic operators to submit their respective bids for the effective management of the scheme.

The minister declared that the agency is also striving to address the effects of constructi­on and demolition waste. A technical committee was set up to facilitate the commercial­isation of reconstitu­ted or reengineer­ed stone. The committee is chaired by the agency and is composed of representa­tives from the ministry, the ERA, and the Building and Constructi­on Authority. The committee’s main objective is to explore and discuss potential measures to mitigate the impacts of this waste stream on the environmen­t, in line with the Constructi­on and Demolition Waste Strategy for Malta 2020-2025. In August 2021, this committee submitted a formal request to the Malta Competitio­n and Consumer Affairs Authority to draft standards for end-of-waste aggregates, including Maltese limestone.

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