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Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia adressing the SUP strategy , Source: Aaron Farrugia on Facebook

Malta bans sale of single-use plastic products

Malta bans sale of single-use plastic products

The SUP strategy and the Waste Management Plan (2021-2030) aim to transform the Maltese economy from a linear to a circular one

Malta is among the first countries to have introduced ambitious legislation for reducing the environmental damage caused by disposable plastic products. The first phase of the Single-Use Plastics Strategy for Malta (2021-2030), having commenced in January 2021, saw a ban on the importation and production of a range of single-use plastic (SUP) items, such as plastic plates, cutlery, straws, drinks mixers, drink vessels and food containers for immediate consumption.

Second phase kicks in with a ban on SUP sale and distribution

Now, as Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia announced yesterday, the government will proceed with the second phase of the strategy which envisages a prohibition on the sale and distribution of these items from January 2022.

The strategy is based on the EU Commission’s Directive from 2019, which calls for enacting a number of effective measures to reduce the environmental impact of certain SUP products and other plastic items on the environment, Farrugia recalled.

The long-term plastic management plan has been launched for public consultation, and it also includes local research of identifying Malta’s specific plastic problem, he added. The Minister pointed out, as quoted by TVM, that the industry is already using alternatives which will enable the community to take care of its environmental surroundings while remaining competitive at an economic level.

Waste separation to become mandatory

Minister Farrugia also spoke of Malta’s long-term Waste Management Plan (2021-2030), viewing it, on a par with the SUP strategy, as vital for the transformation of the Maltese economy from a linear to a circular one. He explained that the plan, based on the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, will be put into practice through 130 measures that will be implemented by 2030. This plan together with the ECOHIVE complex will help the Maltese drastically reduce the amount of landfilling, achieve a much higher level of recycling while drastically reducing the waste we produce, Farrugia said.

As part of this plan, further actions will be implemented to increase the separation of waste which will become mandatory, said the Director of the Directorate for the Environment and Climate Change, Ruth Debrincat. She explained that a national reform will take place on waste collection, with the introduction of a uniform garbage truck for all localities.

To decrease refuse from dumps, enabling the recycling of waste for conversion to resource, four new plants will be built in the ECOHIVE complex with an investment of EUR 5 million, the Director added.

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