The Malta Independent 21 November 2018, Wednesday

National agriculture policy to be launched; only 17% of plastic bottles end up at recycling plant

Thursday, 4 December 2014, 19:35 Last update: about 5 years ago

Environment and Climate Change Minister Leo Brincat said today that only an average of 13 to 17 per cent of plastic bottles end up at the waste recycling plant. He said an expression of interest will be issued for a company to operate a refund system tied to the collection of plastic bottles and aluminium cans.

Mr Brincat was speaking during another session of a 'Government that listens' held at St George's Square in Valletta.

On the budget, he said it includes a number of environmental measures aimed to take care of the environment. The majority of measures are to be implemented by other ministries, he added.

He said that a national policy is being drafted to deal with electronic-related waste.

Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes, who is responsible for fisheries, agriculture and animal rights, said that the argriculture sector should undergo a transformation so that Malta can compete with other countries, despite Malta's size.

This budget, he said, helps assist farmers while also helps identify the Maltese product.

He announced that a consultative council for agriculture is to be set up to address the challenges of this sector. He said that a national policy for agriculture is to be launched.

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A person who was present during this evening's session said that the neutering campaign, although positive, was not promoted enough.

Mr Galdes said that the neutering campaign helped reduce stray animals roaming our streets. He said that the neutering campaign is being enhanced, the government working hand in hand with NGOs. He said 700 animals were neutered during the last campaign.

Mr Brincat said the ministry is organising consultations with top government officials, union representatives, and environment unit officials on Mepa's demerger process. He said that the specially set up implementation team and steering committee are emerging with proposals before Mepa's development and planning is separated from the environment and not after.

Mr Brincat said that a decision would be taken to enhance the presence of environmental wardens, but pointed out that the decision would be taken following a public consultation process.

He said that CCTV cameras may be installed in the certain areas, including valleys, so as to safeguard them from illegal dumping.

A person who was in the crowd said that not all street cleaners clean as should be and at times witnessed street cleaners sweeping litter into gutters.

Importation of exotic animals

Asked by TVM journalist Ruth Amaira if he feels that the laws tied to the importation of exotic animals should be strengthened, Mr Galdes said that the country witnessed a number of exotic animals imported which could pose a danger to people.

"The government is working on a draft bill, along with veterinarians, that would introduce stricter importation controls to safeguard both the animals’ health and that of persons," Mr Galdes said.

 

 

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