The Malta Independent 20 October 2017, Friday

Plastic Deposit Return System proposal: GreenPak calls for waste recycling impact assessment

Monday, 2 October 2017, 07:23 Last update: about 18 days ago

GreenPak Cooperative Society has said that while it is in favour of increased plastic bottle recycling, and Deposit Return Systems (DRS) are one possible direction to evaluate, such systems have been shown to be ineffective in certain societal and economic contexts.

Based on current data, GreenPak told The Malta Independent on Sunday that it is "not convinced that a DRS will have a significant impact in increasing overall recovery rates as it targets only beverage plastic bottles, which constitute a small percentage of the total plastic waste stream and only 5.2 per cent of the total estimated amount of household waste".

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It said that a full impact assessment is needed to better understand all sources and all recycling and recovery needs in order to identify the most effective, long-term solution for Malta.

GreenPak's position is that there are many other untapped opportunities in the existing kerbside recycling system that collects a broader range of materials available for reuse.

"The best way forward to boost recycling rates is to work together with all relevant stakeholders to improve traditional recycling bag collections and better use of bring-in sites, while emphasizing the need for more information and investments in cultivating citizens' recycling mind set through education and raising awareness," it said.

"Why invent another new system, which will undoubtedly bring with it a number of complications and additional costs, when existing systems can work more effectively with the right support?"

GreenPak warned that a DRS "may well undermine the existing models of recycling bag collections and bring-in site systems, which aim to improve recycling of all packaging waste and not just a part of it".

GreenPak pledged that, as a responsible scheme, the cooperative remains open and willing to discuss with government officials the most appropriate waste recycling and recovery scheme that reflects the broader waste stream and not only plastic bottles.

It added: "Through the collaborative power of all related parties - the government, NGOs and industry - we believe we can have a holistic waste management plan that specifically addresses Malta's unique needs and challenges."


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