This article was written by Dr Michael Psaila and Dr Laura Spiteri
On 31 July 2020, the Beverage Containers Recycling Regulations (Legal Notice 311 of 2020 and hereinafter referred to as the 'Regulations') came into force. The aim of these Regulations is to further the circular economy by establishing a Beverage Container Refund Scheme (the 'Scheme') to enhance the collection and recycling of beverage containers and reduce littering.
These Regulations implement the provisions of Directive 94/62 on packaging and packaging waste and form part of the Maltese Government's Single-Use Plastics Products Strategy for Malta 2020-2030.
An operator licensed by the Resource, Recovery and Recycling Agency, which was set up in 2018, will be tasked with establishing and operating the Scheme. Producers, distributors, retailers, and catering undertakings – as defined by the Regulations – that place any beverage containers falling within the ambit of the Regulations on the market, are to register with the said licensed operator and to comply with the conditions for participating in the Scheme as may be introduced by it. Every single use container that is made available on the market will be subject to the payment of a deposit. The Regulations currently set the value of the deposit at €0.10, which deposit is to be paid at every stage of the supply chain.
Any person, including consumers, that return a single use container upon which a deposit has been paid will be entitled to the €0.10 refund. Single use containers must be returned at any one of the designated redemption locations, following which deposits, redemption vouchers will be issued to whomever returns the single use container(s).
The Regulations also provide for an exemption from the Scheme where any producer can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Resource, Recovery and Recycling Agency that it has an appropriate system for the collection and reuse of its beverage containers similar to the Scheme in place.
This document does not purport to give legal, financial or tax advice. Should you require further information or legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Michael Psaila, Dr Annalies Muscat, and Dr Laura Spiteri