The Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise, through Circular Economy Malta, was tasked with reaching out to private stakeholders representing Beverage Producers, Importers and Retailers in Malta.

The concept of the Beverage Container Refund Scheme (BCRS) in Malta is attributed to the Prime Minster of the time, who in 2017 announced the introduction of the scheme during the Ocean Conference, held in Malta. The Scheme should enable Malta to fulfil its commitments to introduce a national scheme whereby 70% of plastic beverage bottles are effectively recovered and prevented from ending up in our seas

It is worth mentioning that the Mediterranean Sea is regretfully characterized by a high percentage of marine litter. Moreover, scientific research unequivocally demonstrates that 70% of the marine litter is effectively land-based plastics.

After a lengthy and thorough negotiation process a Consortium representing the private industry was successfully set up. The BCRS Regulations, inspired by the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility, and which came into force on the 31st of July 2020, are intended to implement the provisions of Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste with respect to beverage containers, and to reflect Article 8a of the revised Waste Framework Directive, Dir 2018/851, and reflecting definitions and targets introduced through the Single Use Plastic Directive 2019/904.

The implementation of the beverage containers refund scheme should foster and enhance awareness of the importance of waste management as a means of improving our environment through reduction of waste, reduction of littering and improved social behaviour.

The BCRS aims to cultivate a culture among public and private stakeholders in respect of the economic and environmental benefits of the circularity of resources and ultimately, divert waste from the Landfill. The successful implementation of the BCRS should augur well for the introduction of similar schemes built on the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility to mitigate the flow to landfills of other waste streams.