Junk mail is a nuisance but addressing the issue is a balancing act between safeguarding jobs and reducing waste, the Environment Minister said this morning.

Leo Brincat was speaking at the opening of a public consultation over ways to tackle the large volumes of unsolicited mail.

The process will last two months and will be followed by meetings with stakeholders.

A Budget initiative in 2009 to levy a tax on unsolicited printed material was eventually scrapped after stiff opposition by industry players.

Mr Brincat said a balance had to be found between the environmental concerns created by the volumes of waste generated through junk mail and jobs in the printing, advertising and distribution industries.

The GRTU and the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry were represented at the launch and both said taxation was not the ideal way to tackle the problem since competitiveness had to be safeguarded.

Mr Brincat said the government was approaching the issue "with an open mind", insisting he did not want to pre-empt the consultation exercise.

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