The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Environment Minister to launch single-use plastic strategy for Malta

Kevin Schembri Orland Friday, 10 May 2019, 09:36 Last update: about 3 months ago

Environment Minister Jose Herrera is expected to launch Malta’s Single Use Plastics strategy for public consultation today, in yet another step moving the country towards a circular economy.

This newsroom is informed that preliminary consultation with various stakeholders has already taken place prior to this publication. The Strategy will have 23 main measures, with a number of sub measures included as well. Measures will be aimed at reducing single use plastic consumption, providing economic instruments such as incentives and disincentives, measures on separate waste collection and others like raising awareness.

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One of the points of the strategy is to raise awareness on the effects of single use plastics, and to promote their alternatives.

The strategy, this newsroom is informed, follows the work done by the European Commission in the move towards a circular economy, and aims to help Malta achieve this goal. The strategy also aims to help protect against plastic pollution and reduce litter from such products.  It aims to act as a driver to bring about a needed cultural and behavioural shift when it comes to the way people treat single use plastic, this newsroom understands.

While legislative changes might be included, the strategy aims to change the current behaviour and mentality, which is that of a linear economy, and move towards a circular economy, a source explained.

The strategy will give prominence to try and continue reducing the use of the top 10 used single use plastics in the EU, this newsroom is informed. These include plastic plates, balloons, beverage containers and bottles including cups and lids, cutlery, straws, stirrers and others.

It is yet unknown what the exact measures will be, and how far the measures will go, however they will be revealed through the publication of the strategy.

This is not the first major initiative taken by Minister Herrera when it comes to recycling and waste, but is another bold step. Malta already moved towards better waste separation through the introduction of the organic bag, and also through the beverage container refund scheme.

The introduction of the organic bag, otherwise known as the white back, added another tier of waste separation to the Maltese market.

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