A total of 350 reverse vending machines are going to be stationed around Malta and Gozo within the next 14 months, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia announced on Monday. 

The reverse vending machines will allow people to return used plastic drinks containers in return for 10c per bottle. 

Farrugia said the aim was for 85 per cent of plastic bottles used in Malta to be recycled. 

A licensing agreement was signed on Monday with a consortium of importer, producers and retailers and the Resource Recovery and Recycling Agency (RRRA). 

Farrugia said the agreement will also lead to a new plastic bottle recycling centre being built at Hal Far as part of a €15 million investment in the new scheme.

The Environment Minister said the scheme would help Malta hit its recycling targets. 

RRRA CEO Anthony Rizzo said he hoped the scheme would boost the way in which both producer and consumers become more responsible when consuming and disposing of reusable plastic.

Pierre Fava, who heads the consortium that will be running the scheme, said it was expected to create 60 new jobs. 

Plans for the scheme was originally announced in 2017 but was hit with delays.  

In tandem with the scheme, the government will also be forging ahead with plans to gradually phase out single use plastics. 

From January 1, importation of many types of single use plastics will be banned. 
The following year, the sale of single used plastics will be banned, Farrugia said. 

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