The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Circular Economy Malta launched to redistribute waste and ensure sustainability

Bettina Borg Tuesday, 18 May 2021, 11:18 Last update: about 1 month ago

Malta's Resource Recovery and Recycling Agency (RRRA) will be officially rebranded to Circular Economy Malta (CEMalta), to reflect a circular economy model for waste redistribution, Minister for the Environment Aaron Farrugia has announced.

In light of Malta's rapidly growing urbanization and industrialization, Malta will adopt a circular economy model, rather than a linear economic model, to save on waste generated from a myriad of mediums.

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Farrugia noted that, according to a World Bank study, around 2.2 billion tons of solid waste is currently produced by the world's major cities. This figure is expected to rise to 3.4 billion tons by 2050.

As a result, Farrugia said Malta must contribute to the reduction of this figure by adopting a circular economic mode that will adopt reuse, reduce and recycle principles.

CEMalta will create a business model whereby producers are responsible for the product life of the products they place on the market, placing producer responsibility on businesses across Malta.

With the aid of CEMalta, investments will be made into infrastructure that will facilitate the circularity of materials, clean energy production and the redesigning of services. All these initiatives will aim at moulding a long-term sustainable future, Farrugia said.

Amongst the initiatives that will form part of the CEMalta agency will be a number of reverse vending machines, that will be distributed across the islands. This will familiarize the public with the Beverage Container Refund Scheme, Farrugia said.

In tandem, a national educational campaign will be operated by BCRS Malta Ltd to shed light on the refunding of beverage containers.

Another initiative will ensure that food waste is redistributed through the utilisation of digital channels and applications. This will save food from going to waste by making use of community inclusion.

Car tyres which are left for waste will also be tackled by CEMalta. In 2019, 2,200 tons of end-of-life waste tyres were reported in Malta, which has made it evident, Farrugia noted, that tyre waste needs to be dealt with in a sustainable manner. Thus, the Environment Ministry, the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) and CEMalta will devise a scheme to address this issue specifically.

Farrugia hopes that these initiatives will enable Malta to build "a more sustainable, resilient economy and a healthier environment".

A number of initiatives, he noted, are already in place to help Malta build its sustainability, such as the ban on importation of single use plastics in Malta and the investment in waste management through the ECOHIVE project.

Farrugia was joined by CEMalta CEO Anthony Rizzo, who said that the general public must stop taking natural resources for granted and instead turn its attention to a regenerative economy which will not depend on limited resources.

CEMalta, he noted, will ultimately regard waste as a valuable, vital resource.

 


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