Four national entities have come together to draw up a way to collect and recycle plastic bottles, making it clear that this should be left to the private sector.

“The private sector is capable of managing the system with enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness while government should limit itself solely to a regulatory role along with effective enforcement,” they said.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, GRTU, Green Pak Coop and Green MT this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding, following the government’s call for feedback to its proposed Beverage Container Refund System.

The government, through the Ministry for the Environment, has issued the public consultation document aimed at diverting in excess of 200 million beverage containers in circulation annually from landfills.

The main objectives of this scheme are to increase recycling rates and reduce litter, adding a deposit to the purchase price with a full refund given when the container is returned at one of the reverse vending machines, which will be deployed around Malta and Gozo.

The private entities said they believed it would be possible to come up with a
not-for-profit system based on current best practices in the EU, and which will provide “the best service to their respective client/membership-base as well as to the consumer”.

They will be “actively” engaging with all relevant stakeholders, including manufacturers and bottlers of beverages, importers, distributors and wholesalers, retail outlets including supermarkets and smaller outlets, hotels and catering establishments as well as other waste operators/intermediaries and collectors.

The government has set new ambitious targets for the recovery and recycling of beverage containers. 

Read: Opportunity for quality recycling - José Herrera