Malta today kicked off its debate on the European Commission's Circular Economy Package, which is Europe's next big thing with a potential to bring major growth in the recycling and re-use industries.
The consultation session, held at Europe House in Valletta, was organised by the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee (MEUSAC) in conjunction with the Malta Environment & Planning Authority (MEPA) and the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change (MSDEC).
A number of industry key players were present for the session which saw MEPA representatives reply to questions from the floor.
The Commission adopted the package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.
The circular economy is more than just straight-forward recycling. It is the acceptance and, moreover, the implementation of the business model in which products are designed to be stripped down to their smallest components after they have been used, with the parts re-inserted into the production chain instead of being discarded.
The main elements of the new proposal include a common EU target for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2030, allowing Malta and another six Member States the possibility of achieving this target by 2035, a common EU target for recycling 75% of packaging waste by 2030, a binding landfill target to reduce the landfilling of municipal solid waste (MSW) to maximum of 10% of the total MSW generated by 2030, also allowing Malta and another six Member States the possibility of achieving this target by 2035, a ban on landfilling of separately collected waste, the promotion of economic instruments to discourage landfilling, among others.
During today's debate, it emerged that the creation and harmonisation of the methods used to collect data on how much waste has been re-used will be the next major challenge, according to MEPA.
It was also highlighted that by 2025, Malta would have to recycle 50 per cent of municipal waste.
Since the Commission's package does not specifically target the reduction of junk mail posted in our mail boxes, a public consultation is currently being held on a national level. The public consultation was launched by Environment Minister Leo Brincat on January 25.
For more information on the Circular Economy visit http://www.meusac.gov.mt/eventdetails?ed=265