The Beverage Container Refund Scheme

The Beverage Container Refund 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 by end of year 2022, which targets go up to 90% by end of year 2026 and from there onwards.

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 Beverage Container Refund Scheme 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 Scheme 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 Scheme 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.