I’m sat in a cafè. It’s breezy. On the balcony, a load of plastic packaging and other stuff has blown off some teenagers’ trays, done a couple of orbits of the balcony, and now gone over the edge. This caused amusement for the teens concerned, but the opposite sentiment for me.

On challenging them about their ability to have prevented the littering, the response was ‘it’s not our fault, it’s the wind’! Sadly, there is so much litter in Malta, a little bit more won’t make any difference (apparently!).

I’m a Brit, living here part-time. It’s not my country, but I’m always astounded at the lackadaisical approach to tidying up this potentially attractive island. Sadly, despite new global interest in cleaning up the environment, I have little hope for Malta contributing to that wider effort.

Last year I lived in Burmarrad, three houses up the street from the prime minister. Dog faeces littered the pavement, plastic and other litter blew around on the street, and in a few corners of unused land, there remained hundreds of plastic bottles, cans, wrappers etc that remained for the 18 months I rented the house.

My wife, three-year-old son and I thought about getting several black bags and having a good clear-up. But I decided that’s actually Joseph Muscat’s job. It’s his street, I’m merely a guest. As yet it hasn’t been done. He should consider the concept of leading by example, and the rest of the country might follow.

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