The Malta Independent 2 February 2023, Thursday
View E-Paper

GreenPak in support of ‘money-back’ for plastic bottles scheme, Green MT waiting to hear proposal

Julian Bonnici Sunday, 17 September 2017, 08:16 Last update: about 6 years ago

The CEOs of waste separation firms Green MT and GreenPak have praised the government 'money-back' scheme for plastic bottles, however, the former said it would wait to hear the proposal before committing to a position on the issue

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced the initiative during his speech celebrating the first 100 days of the new legislature.

CEO of GreenPak Mario Schembri said that the organisation was in favour of any system that increases recycling and tackles the litter problem.


"We believe it is the civic duty of any citizen and, in this regard of any person living or staying in Malta, to recycle waste, and not just plastic bottles."

He suggested that the money-back scheme could be implemented for other items and materials such as cigarette butts, animal waste, chewing gum, paper and wrappers.

Joe Attard, the CEO Green MT, said he does not know the details of the said initiative and as such, he refrained from making any comments at this stage. However, he said that it should be noted that a return deposit system was proposed in 2006 and was shelved after heavy opposition from producers, retailers and other stakeholders.

With regard to whether it would be interested in handling the initiative, Green MT said it would analyse the send tender document with its producer members and would then decide accordingly.

Schembri revealed that GreenPak is in constant discussion with government officials on various topics of waste recycling, not only on plastic bottles, while Attard said that no formal discussions have been held with Green MT on the matter.

Specifically on the subject, GreenPak is currently running the "Crush Plastic Bottles" campaign which aims to make people aware of the need to recycle. Through crushing, the volume of the plastic bottle reduces a lot, so many more bottles can be thrown in plastic recycling bins or in green recycling bags.

On the subject of pricing, Schembri said that in theory, whatever price is added to the bottle should not make any difference to the consumer as s/he will get the money back.

"In practice however, things work a lot differently. If the objective is to collect as much waste plastic bottles as possible, the price on the bottle has to be high. If the price is not high enough, people will not be bothered to take the plastic bottle back, and the system will end up just being a consumer price increase, with no gain to the environment."

Attard would not be drawn to make any comments on pricing either, saying that "it is a very premature question and we are not in a position to speculate on any price structure at this stage".

To conclude, Green MT has been aware of such an initiative over budget documents in the last three years, and a number of producers have spoken about the scheme outlining their concerns after what they heard on the grapevine.

Green MT would propose the involvement of all stakeholders if this initiative is launched in the future.




  • don't miss