Latest statistics show that there has been a significant increase in the number of registered packaging producers. OUTLOOK provides an overview about Malta’s situation on packaging waste. The Packaging and Packaging waste directive which in 2006 was transposed into a legal notice, LN 277 of 2006, obliges all producers of packaging waste to register with the competent authority and setting up their own recovery and recycling system or join an authorised recovery scheme that will ensure compliance on their behalf. To do so, all producers have to provide a certificate to MEPA indicating that the packaging waste put on the market has been recovered and recycled.
The Directive covers all packaging (primary, secondary and tertiary) whether it is used or released at industrial, commercial, office, shop, service, household or any other level, regardless of the material used. MEPA which is the competent and national Authority responsible for waste management must ensure that it maintains a register of packaging producers, which include importers and manufacturers, and exclude outlets who purchase their stock from local traders.
Over the past months Mepa has dedicated much time and resources, not only to ensure that Malta will compile with the targets set out by the Packaging Directive but also to make certain that packaging producers are aware of their obligations. Following a door-to door awareness campaign exercise, the Authority has witnessed a significant increase in the number of registrations of packaging producers. To date, MEPA has over 2,700 registered producers, an increase 39% from 2007. 2390 registered packaging producers are enlisted with an approved waste recovery scheme, with only 543 which claim to be self-compliant. Registered packaging producers, listed as self-compliant dropped sharply between 2010 and 2011 by over 76%.
Mr Kevin Mercieca, Unit Manager for Waste pointed out that “in tandem with the awareness campaign, MEPA also started to take enforcement measures when it came to producers that chose to ignore our appeal for them to comply. In fact over the past months the Authority issued over 600 warnings to companies which failed to comply with these regulations. Furthermore, MEPA has initiated court procedures against 109 companies.” All fines are calculated on the amount of packaging waste placed on the market. Further information and all relevant forms can be obtained from MEPA’s website on www.mepa.org.mt/waste-pack