The Malta Independent 3 February 2023, Friday
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Bottling company distances itself from Kasco Group

Wednesday, 30 November 2022, 11:47 Last update: about 3 months ago

BCRS Malta Ltd, operator of the Beverage Container Refund Scheme, has distanced itself from companies that form part of the Kasco Group, run by the former chief of staff Keith Schembri.

Neither the company nor its reverse vending machines have any connection with the Kasco Group, BCRS said in a statement.

Keith Schembri, the disgraced former chief of staff to prime minister Joseph Muscat, stepped down from his role in 2019 when Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech, was arrested and accused of masterminding the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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A spokesman for BCRS Malta Ltd said “Following media reports which may have caused the public to form a mistaken impression, we feel the need to clarify that BCRS is a not-for-profit company incorporated by beverage producers, importers and retailers associations, and that our machines are manufactured and supplied by different companies to those mentioned in the press.

“BCRS has a challenging and important environmental mission to fulfil. We welcome scrutiny of our operations but appeal to the media’s sense of responsibility to ensure we are not gratuitously linked to political controversies of which we form no part.”

The beverage producers, importers and retailers joined forces to set up BCRS Malta Ltd to run the DRS scheme after the government had announced at the 2017 EU Our Oceans Conference that Malta would introduce a dedicated Deposit Refund System (DRS) for the recovery and recycling of single-use beverage containers in line with Circular Economy principles that was followed by a public consultation process in early 2018.

BCRS invested €18 million in a state-of-the-art facility based in Hal-Far and 320 reverse vending machines manufactured by Envipco, a leading US technology company that has been in this line of business for more than four decades.

The operations of BCRS are regulated and subject to audit by the purposely set up Government agency, CEMalta (Circular Economy Malta), and the company incorporates all the technical and legal checks and balances required for a national undertaking of this nature.

The spokesman said: “We will seek to better explain the operation of the scheme – which is similar to ones successfully in operation in various EU countries – in the coming weeks as we pursue recovery and recycling targets that are more ambitious than those imposed by the European Commission.”

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