Fabian Demicoli

Government letting down Packaging Compliance Schemes

 Facts always speak louder than words. Packaging Compliance
Schemes have been waiting for amendments to the principal regulations (Legal
Notice 277 of 206) for over seven months now. The amendments were published for
public consultation early in June.Government, through the Ministry for Tourism  Culture and the Environment (MTEC), set
procedures in motion so that these amendments actually become law and had to be
published on the Government Gazette on 17th July 2012.

But, as the saying goes, words are cheap and sometimes
writing even cheaper. The case has now become that schemes certainly cannot
wait any longer. Green MT will definitely not wait. We have now given a strong
deadline to the Authorities, either go through with the amendments or
Government will have to pay for all Local Council collections for services made
until they are published.

Government Authorities and Ministries seem not to care at all
as long as a service is being rendered to the community, at no cost to
Government. The laissez-faire attitude by GovernmentAuthorities and departments
will not change unless they feel the brunt of forking funds.

As an Authorised Packaging Waste Compliance Scheme, we are
committed to provide a service to 270,000 residents and this does not come
cheap. As a Scheme we have found loopholes in the principal regulations that
drive us to the gutter. These loopholes have already been outlined to
Government late last year but our call for action continues to fall on deaf
ears.

The Scheme has dedicated members, who fork out funds
financially on a quarterly or yearly basis in order for us to be able to
provide services within the community. Whilst we do our utmost, Government,
through MEPA, and mostly MTCE, does its best to leave to ruin what has been
built over the last three to four years.

It is ridiculous to note that since January 2012, no
penalties for infringement to Legal Notice 277 of 2006 have been issued. We are
told that the enforcement of this legislation, which was being done well by the
Policy and Compliance Unit, has been forwarded to the Enforcement Directorate.
Since that happened what was built last year went into limbo. Schemes are not
able to take on new members because there is no enforcement at all. Or is this
just because an election is near?

If that is the case, it is well that MEPA takes due note that
packaging waste has no colours, and the environment and its problems cannot
wait until an election is held and maybe then we set the ball rolling.

To add insult to injury MEPA allows producers of packaging
waste who sell directly to consumers to self-comply with the legislation and
Green MT has to collect their packaging from households against no kind of fee,
because the producer who generates this packaging waste does not pay a cent to
anyone.

But the buck stops here! If these amendments are not issued
by end July 2012 it will be Government that will foot the bill for the
collection of grey bag and collection from Bring in Sites and their upkeep. The
choice is an easy one and Local Councils will not bear the brunt. After all
Government had always promised them that it will have to take on this
responsibility if a Scheme or Schemes falter.

Now, it is testing time, facts not words!

What we can do for you

INFORMATION POINT

BUSINESS SERVICES

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

LOCAL ISSUES & LEGISLATION

B2B NETWORKING EVENTS

LEGAL ADVICE

FUNDING ASSISTANCE

COURSES

BECOME A MEMBER

The Malta Chamber of SMEs represents over 7,000 members from over 90 different sectors which in their majority are either small or medium sized companies, and such issues like the one we're experiencing right now, it's important to be united. Malta Chamber of SMEs offers a number of different services tailored to its members' individual requirements' and necessities. These range from general services offered to all members to more individual & bespoke services catered for specific requirements.

A membership with Malta Chamber of SMEs will guarantee that you are constantly updated and informed with different opportunities which will directly benefit your business and help you grow. It also entails you to a number of services which in their majority are free of charge and offered exclusively to its members (in their majority all free of charge).