BCRS Malta Ltd held its first in a series of information sessions about the upcoming Beverage Container Refund Scheme on Tuesday. The meeting which was attended by members of the business community hailing from the production, importation, distribution and retail segments of the beverages industry, was organised in collaboration with The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry and was intended to explain in detail how the scheme will function.
Welcoming guests to the session, BCRS Malta Ltd chairperson Mr Pierre Fava said that the upcoming Beverage Container Refund Scheme in Malta will be a significant milestone in what has been an important and challenging journey so far. He said that the Beverage Container Refund Scheme would radically change the way single-use beverage containers were disposed of, once and for all.
“This will revolutionise the way we think of plastic, aluminium and glass containers. This is going to be a project that we will be proud to have undertaken together, and which our children will thank us for” Mr Fava said.
BCRS Malta Ltd, a 100% private non-government company, is the licensed operator for Malta’s Beverage Container Refund Scheme. The company is fully focused on implementing a technologically driven scheme based on international best practices and to date €17.2 million of private investment has been committed by way of capital investments to create the necessary infrastructure to run the scheme.
Aiming to collect and recycle up to 90% of all single-use beverage containers by 2026, Mr Fava called BCRS Malta Ltd a historic collaboration. “I am proud to chair this group of stakeholders in the beverage industry who have come together to do something which would be beneficial to the country’s environmental targets and well-being. We are fully aware that this will likely require a culture change from most of us, but we believe we can all make it together” he concluded.
The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry President Ms Marisa Xuereb said “The private sector has a key role to play in undertaking investments that provide for a greener, more sustainable economy. Government policies and the absorption of EU funds targeted at attaining sustainability objectives need to facilitate and promote private sector investment in such infrastructure, across all waste streams. The extent to which we will succeed as a country in developing a viable circular economy depends greatly on the efficiency and effectiveness of waste collection schemes, and on our ability to channel waste streams to economically feasible activities that can be harnessed by the private sector.”
While providing a detailed presentation of how the scheme will function, BCRS Malta Ltd Chief Executive Officer Ing. Edward Chetcuti said that this was based on international best practices from similar schemes which were operational in several other European countries. He then proceeded to explain how the system would make use of 331 Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) to collect beverage containers in bottles and cans made of PET, aluminium and glass containing water, soft drinks, beer, ciders and flavoured beverages but excluding wines, spirits, juices and dairy products which would not be collected by the scheme.
All collected containers will then be taken to the BCRS purposely built Hal Far plant, where they will be sorted according to material type and packed efficiently to be exported for onward recycling. The IT system which would support the scheme, would regulate the collection and separation of returned containers through the latest Internet of Things technology creating an intelligent network that would govern the system automatically. An interactive map with the locations of the various RVMs spread across Malta and Gozo would be available online and would facilitate the customer interface.
Mr Franco Schembri, Chief Officer, Operations from Circular Economy Malta, said “As the national regulator of the beverage container refund scheme, CEMalta appeals to the economic operators of the beverage industry to regularise their operations by registering themselves and, in the case of Producers and Importers, their respective products with the Scheme. It is imperative that all economic operators understand that it is in the interest of all to make this Scheme a success story in protection of the environment”
A question and answer session moderated by Ms Rachel Attard, Media and Communication Strategist from The Malta Chamber then followed.