Malta will be banning the importation of at least seven single-use plastic products as 1st January, 2021, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia confirmed.
The ban will apply to products such as plastic bags, cutlery, straws, plates, cotton buds, food containers, and stirrers. It will begin the phasing out of these products on the island.
Malta will be amongst the first countries to ban certain single-use plastic products in the EU, the Environment Ministry said.
“It is high time that we give answers to our children who ask about all the litter on our beaches, who see photos of washed-up seagulls with stomachs full of plastic products, and injured turtles caught up in plastic bags,” Farrugia said.
“We will continue to work to decrease pollution, launch our climate change strategy, improve our health and that of our ecosystems, with tangible results.”
This announcement follows the completion of the public consultation and publication of legal notices today.
The ban is in accordance with a set of climate-focused promises made by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s government during the 2019 Budget.
“This year will be a transitory one for the single-use plastic products already on the market and, as from 2022, the sale and distribution of these items will also be legally prohibited,” the Minister continued.
“We are doing this with determination, as families in Malta want the environment at the top of the government’s agenda post-COVID. At the same time, the process is fully transparent in order to provide certainty to industry.“