However, a new Eurostat report has some even more damning dirt on Malta. A study measuring the waste generated by households and other buildings has found that Malta generates 647kg of waste per person in 2016.
This is over 150kg above the EU average, and it also means that Malta is officially the second most wasteful country in Europe. We come second only after Denmark, which was found to generate 777kg per person.
The three countries following Malta are Cyprus (640 kg), Germany (626 kg) and Luxembourg (614 kg). The EU average for 2016 was found to be 480 kg per person.
The study also showed how Malta has changed over time. In 2014, Malta was found to be generating 600 kg per person, and 624 kg in 2015, indicating a gradual increase in waste generated in Malta each year.
The European countries that generated the least amount of waste were the Czech Republic (339 kg), Poland (307 kg) and Romania (261 kg).
This comes after it was found that while all EU members are expected to recycle 50% of their waste by 2020, Malta not even a fifth of the way there.
However, GreenPak CEO Mario Schembri said that “I’m not alarmed by the rate of recycling in Malta. As a country there has been a marked improvement in people’s attitudes and behaviour, even though we could be moving at a quicker rate,” Mr Schembri said.
He said that the volume of recycled waste collected by GreenPak last year has actually increased by 25% over 2016, with GreenPak recovering 22,136 tonnes of waste in 2017.
“It was particularly encouraging to note that in 2017 we collected 3,378 tonnes of plastic waste resulting in a nine per cent increase over 2016. This means we have managed to recover the equivalent of 57 per cent of the plastic packaging our business partners put on the market,” Mr Schembri said.
“We believe that GreenPak’s investment in recent campaigns encouraging consumers to crush plastic waste has contributed to this impressive increase,” he added.