Fabian Demicoli

Green MT Council Awards

 Green MT has
recently held its 4th consecutive Council Awards. The event was held at a leading hotel in
St. Julians. The attendance of a substantial number of mayors and executive
secretaries together with Green MT's leading producer member was welcomed for
the evening.

Green Council Awards are a
recognition to those Local Councils who have achieved collection targets within
their localities in respect of recyclable waste. Other than recognising these
Councils Green MT has also added a number of awards because of the contribution
it believes they give to the sector and therefore should be recognised. The
award for Best Recycling Business for the year went to General Soft Drinks co
Ltd whilst the Lifetime Achievement Award dedicated to an individual who has
contributed greatly towards not only increasing recycling in the locality but
also for making an overall contribution to the environmental upkeep of the
locality. This award went to Mr John Boxall Mayor of Vittoriosa. St Paul's Bay
Local Council was awarded the Council Initiative for Recycling because it was
instrumental in setting up an event to make the public aware that more glass
needed to be collected to be recycled instead of going to landfill.

Three awards were given to the Local
Councils of Nadur Gozo, Cospicua and Rabat Malta for reducing mixed waste going
to landfill in 2013. The award for the best overall recycling collection went
to the local council of Ta' Xbiex who collected 79 kilos per capita in 2013.
They were closely followed by the local council of Mellieha in second place and
the local council of St Julians in third place.

During the event Mr Paul Abela
President of GRTU and Chairman of Green MT outlined to those present that the
GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs had effectively been the only constituted body that
took up the eventual responsibility of setting up a company to handle the
environmental obligations of SMEs. Despite all of the difficulties, Mr Abela
informed those present that GRTU deems this to be an outstanding achievement.
He further insisted that the time is now ripe for government to rid producers
of ECO contribution legislation. The event was also addressed by the Honourable
Dr Stefan Bountempo who is responsible for Local Government. Dr Bountempo
thanked Green MT for such an event and ordered that local councils continue to
instigate their residents to continue to take part in this silent revolution –
that of making sure their individual local councils become increasingly
environmentally friendly. Dr Bountempo continued to insist that together with
the Ministry for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change, his
secretariat has gone through detailed discussions to further waste separation
at source, including the introduction shortly of a food waste bag.

The keynote speaker of the event was
the Honourable Minister Leo Brincat, Minister for Sustainable Development,
Environment and Climate Change. Minister Brincat thanked all those present and
outlined that governments` promise to rid the business community of ECO
contribution which is currently stalling the implementation of the WEEE
Directive. 

Minister Brincat further stated that
a consultation document issued early in July by the European Commission has
outlined more onerous targets to be met by producers in member states in
relation to a number of waste stream directives.  He insisted that Malta
was no exception to the rule and, for the benefit of future generations, Malta
had to do its best to meet these targets. He stated that government was in
favour of pilot projects in respect to changes in the waste management sector
as the 'one size fits all' is not acceptable to all local councils.

At the end of the event Minister
Brincat, Dr Stephan Bountempo and Mr Paul Abela Chairman of Green MT presented
the awards to the winners.

Green MT,
is an authorised waste packaging compliance scheme, a fully owned subsidiary of
GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs. It had been set up with the aim of making sure that
SMEs met their environmental obligation at law. Green MT can be reached on
telephone number 21496965/6 during office hours.

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