Press Release
Waste recycling impact assessment in Malta
GreenPak Cooperative Society is in favor of increased plastic bottle recycling. While Deposit Return Systems (DRS) is one possible direction to evaluate, it has been shown to be ineffective in certain societal and economic contexts.
 
Based on current data, we are not convinced that a DRS will have a significant impact in increasing overall recovery rates as it targets only beverage plastic bottles, which constitute a small percentage of the total plastic waste stream and only 5.2 % of the total estimated amount of household waste.
 
A full impact assessment is needed to better understand all sources, recycling and recovery needs, to identify the most effective, long-term solution for Malta.
 
GreenPak’s believes that there are many other untapped opportunities in the existing curb side recycling system, which collects a broader range of materials available for reuse. The best way forward is to work together with all relevant stakeholders. This not only boosts recycling rates, but also improves traditional recycling bag collections.
 
Moreover, this makes better use of bring-in sites, while emphasizing the need for more information and investments in cultivating citizens’ recycling mindset through education and raising awareness. Why invent yet another new system, which will undoubtedly bring with it a number of complications and additional costs? Current systems seem to work more effectively when the right support is given.
 
A DRS may well undermine the existing models of recycling bag collections and bring-in site systems, which aim to improve recycling of all packaging waste, and not just a part of it.
 
GreenPak reassures that as a responsible scheme, the cooperative remains open and willing to discuss issues with government officials. That way the way forward would be to agree on the most appropriate waste recycling and recovery scheme which reflects the broader waste stream rather than focusing on plastic bottles alone.
 
Through the collaborative power of all the related parties: Government, NGOs and the industry, we believe we can have a holistic waste management plan that specifically addresses Malta’s particular needs and challenges. 
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