The Malta Independent 25 June 2019, Tuesday

Battle to make Malta an island free from single-use plastics - MEP Roberta Metsola

Giulia Magri Friday, 8 February 2019, 13:35 Last update: about 6 months ago

We need to become more aware of our plastic consumption and its impact on future generations, said MEP Roberta Metsola today.

Addressing a public dialogue ‘The Prohibition of Single Used Plastic’ organised by the European Parliament Office, Metsola said that “single use plastics are clogging our seas, killing our marine life and causing irreparable damage to Malta and Gozo’s natural environment.”

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Metsola said she is fully behind the proposed EU measure to completely ban single-use plastic products like non-biodegradable straws and other materials. The ban will come into force by 2021, which Metsola said “is a future which is extremely close, but it is time that we change the mentality of not just the consumer but also the producers of such products.”

There has been much discussion regarding the negative impacts of single-use plastic items. Metsola said that “75% of the marine litter in the world’s ocean is plastic, and Malta and Gozo are no different.”

Metsola said that although change might be difficult or problematic at first, change is necessary for the future of the planet’s environment and the population’s mental and physical health. “We must all take a few small steps to reduce the impact on our environment; the impact of such small decisions, such as carrying our own reusable cups or using paper/bamboo straws, can have an enormous impact.”

She said that “European level legislation is crucial, but the situation in Malta and Gozo means that we should not and cannot wait.” She noted that single-use plastic products also play a crucial part in circular economy and that cutting out such products will have a major impact on companies which produce and import them; but can Malta change its mentality towards waste and the environment?

"Is it not time to become the Mediterranean’s first Island free from single-use plastics," she asked the audience.

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