The Malta Independent 16 January 2019, Wednesday

150 million bottles to be collected every year in new refund scheme - Muscat

Wednesday, 12 December 2018, 13:03 Last update: about 2 months ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today that one of the government’s priorities is to keep the environment clean, which has become an even bigger challenge considering the economic growth the country is experiencing.

Speaking during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Government, Resource, Recovery and Recycling Agency (RRRA) and the Beverage Container Refund Scheme, Muscat said that the downside of such a growth means that there is also an increase in waste production.

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Currently 150 million beverage containers are put on the market in Malta, and Muscat said that only a quarter of these are being collected for recycling. He said that the situation in Malta is that waste, which can be another resource for country, is being dumped in valleys, sea or landfills, or even worse, in our food chain. He said that it is time for the Maltese citizens to change their mindset on waste separation, as citizens have a duty to separate their waste correctly and take it out for collection on the correct day.

Muscat also spoke about the development of the Organic Waste system, which just like the Beverage Container Refund Scheme, faced many complications and was said to be an ambitious project. He said that in six weeks three tons of organic waste was collected, which equals to the total amount of general waste collected in 2017.

Muscat explained that the bottle refund scheme brought together all private sector players to come together to set a 10c price for bottle refunds. The project also includes the introduction of reverse vending machines at supermarkets, shops and petrol stations, where people can go with their beverage containers which they can then recycle and be refunded.

Environment Minister Jose Herrera said that the scheme was a huge step forward in recycling. The project is only possible due to the entire industry being united with the Government to launch this scheme. Herrera also said that the scheme will be financed by the operators involved for and will entail a €10 million investment.

Muscat left without taking any further questions from media regarding the initiative scheme or signing.

 

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