The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Importation of single-use plastic into Malta banned from 1 January

Albert Galea Wednesday, 30 December 2020, 14:48 Last update: about 7 months ago

The importation of single-use plastic products will be banned from Friday 1st January 2021, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia announced.

In a statement, the Environment Ministry said that Malta will be amongst the first countries to ban certain single-use plastic products in the EU.

The ban will apply to products such as plastic bags, cutlery, straws, plates, cotton buds, food containers, and stirrers.

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The legal notice, published on Wednesday, states that the placing on the market of a host of other single-use plastic products that have caps and lids made of plastic shall be prohibited as from 3 July 2024.

These products are beverage containers with a capacity of up to three litres, glass or metal beverage containers that have caps and lids made from plastic, and beverage containers intended and used for food for special medical purposes.

Those who are found breaking this law will, if found guilty in court, be liable to a maximum fine of 1,500 after the first offence.  The maximum fine will rise to 2,500 in the case of subsequent offences.

Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said that the implementation of the measure is ongoing, and all is going according to plan.

“It is high time that we give answers to our children who ask about all the litter on our beaches, who see photos of washed-up seagulls with stomachs full of plastic products, and injured turtles caught up in plastic bags. We will continue to work to decrease pollution, launch our climate change strategy, improve our health and that of our ecosystems, with tangible results”, Farrugia said.

“This year will be a transitory one for the single-use plastic products already on the market and, as from 2022, the sale and distribution of these items will also be legally prohibited. We are doing this with determination, as families in Malta want the environment at the top of the government’s post-Covid agenda. At the same time, the process is fully transparent in order to provide certainty to industry,” Farrugia added.

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