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Beverage Container Refund Scheme to be launched in Malta in the coming weeks

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ECONOMYECONOMIA 11The Beverage Container Refund Scheme (BCRS), together with The Malta Chamber of Commerce and Circular Economy Malta, are expected to launch a waste management project across Malta and Gozo promoting the recycling of plastic steel and aluminum beverage containers.

Addressing the event, Malta Chamber of Commerce President Marisa Xuereb stated that “waste management must promote the circular economy and single incentives will not work on their own.” The inclusion of local importers and producers in the BCRS scheme are of utmost importance in order for the scheme to achieve a 90% recycling rate of products introduced into the market, Xuereb said.

The BCRS company will work independently from government agencies such as WasteServ and the scheme will not impede on the work already being done by these agencies. BCRS Chairman Pierre Fava announced that €17.2 million have already been invested in the scheme and, including on a recycling plant and 331 reverse vending machines across Malta and Gozo.

The scheme will work by adding a deposit charge of €0.10c to beverages. This will first be introduced by the producer when selling to the resellers and then the cost is moved on to the consumer.

The consumers can then recoup their €0.10c deposit by returning the empty beverage container at a reverse vending machine. At the machine, consumers will be given their full refund of the €0.10c deposit in the form of a voucher which can be redeemed against the bill at a retail shop.

BCRS stated that, from the 331 reverse vending machines, over 160 of these will be placed near major retail outlets and public kiosks for ease of access. These machines required an investment of €7 million.

The aims by BCRM are such that, by 2026, the company would be recycling 90% of the single-use plastics together with steel and aluminum containers put into the market. Currently, the figure stands at around 26%, prompting the company to “make use of new methods since ‘standard’ ones are not getting us anywhere.”

All companies in Malta that sell beverages in single-use containers are legally required to register with BCRS and make use of the scheme once it goes live.Companies can participate by registering through the official portal of BCRS Malta. Importers and producers have to pay a one-time €100 fee and will then be given a registration number.

Producers and importers then have the obligation of registering all beverage containers which fall under the scheme on the BCRS database and at the end of the first week of every month they have to declare how much of each product they put on the market.

BCRS is a non-profit organisation and although profits may be made throughout the year, BCRS stated that, if this is the case, the administration costs for the following year would be adjusted in order to make right with the profits.


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