Ħaż-Żebbuġ independent councillor Steve Zammit Lupi has urged Malta to ban plastic bottles from the market entirely.
Although single-use plastic has been banned for a year and a new plastic bottle recycling scheme was introduced two months ago, Zammit Lupi said the clampdown should go much further.
“It’s useless encouraging people to recycle while industries keep producing millions of plastic water and soft drink bottles because it suits them financially,” he said.
“Recycling alone isn’t enough. If there was a serious desire, the priority would be to reduce or eliminate the source of plastic. The greatest possible social and environmental responsibility programme would be putting an end to the daily distribution of thousands and thousands of water bottle packets. If you want to be credible, eliminate them from the market and create alternatives.”
Malta is bound to an EU target that obliges all member states to ensure that 77% of plastic bottles are collected separately by 2025, rising to 90% by 2029. BCRS Malta Ltd, the operator of the plastic bottle deposit scheme, told Lovin Malta last November that it is confident the figure will shoot up to 80% in its first year of operation.
However, Zammit Lupi alleged that the majority of plastic bottles still end up in the trash, on the floor or in the sea.
“Politicians need to pass legislation that will eliminate plastic water bottles and instead move towards reusable and returnable containers,” he said.
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