The extent of Malta’s plastic bottle littering problem was laid bare yesterday morning, doing a national clean-up campaign in which hundreds of volunteers took part.
The Let’s Do It Malta campaign who organised the national clean-up said 1,862 garbage bags have been confirmed so far, out of which a staggering 465 were filled solely with plastic bottles – 25% of the total litter collected.
“That is a very sad number. In other countries, you would be able to earn quite some money on those bags collected,” the campaign said.
Indeed, Prime Minsiter Joseph Muscat recently pledged to to introduce introduce a “money-back” scheme whereby an extra deposit is added to the price of plastic and glass bottles, which people will get back once they return the bottle to a shop.
“The only way to tackle this problem is remind people that plastic means money,” he said. “No one will willingly throw money away.”
The Cleansing Directorate’s director Ramon Deguara, speaking at the clean-up launch, said the directorate has collected a record amount of litter this year but still requires the help of the general public to keep Malta clean.
“The government will continue to support such initiatives, which encourage people to make an effort to clean up Malta, he said. “We cannot forget tourism affects all areas of the country these days, and is a huge contributor to waste generation.”