Fabian Demicoli

Waste Packaging – Complying to legal obligations by importers and traders

Government committed to ensure viability of operations – Green MT, Malta's National Waste Packaging Compliance Scheme is today firmly established as the leader in Waste Packaging Compliance on behalf of the Business Community in Malta and Gozo.

 

Green MT members have now exceeded 450 and Green MT continues to be the leader in providing services to 41 Local Council, a commitment to the Community and also provides over 75% of all material fractions recovered to WasteServ's Materials Recovery Facility at Sant Antnin. Since July 01, 2009, Green MT has recovered nearly 21, 000 tons of  Packaging Waste until 31st March 2011.

Green MT continues to stress the importance of producers of Packaging Waste, importers and traders to comply with this very important Environmental legislation. All traders and importers are obliged to register with the Competent Authority MEPA, their market placement for basis year 2009 and then also join an Authorised Scheme prior to 31st May 2011. At present those joining a Scheme and registering with MEPA until that date face an administrative penalty of Euro 100 per tonne for packaging placed on the market in basis year 2009. Beyond 31st May 2011, MEPA will take legal action which will result in heavier penalties. There are also higher administrative penalties envisaged for those who decide that they do not want to comply by 31st May 2011.

Without fail, the business community under the umbrella of Green MT can meet these environmental obligations with the best available technologies at the lowest of cost. Further more the individual trader cannot do this on his own. Self Compliance is expensive and difficult and self compliance will be audited by MEPA too.

Green MT is tangible evidence of Public Private Partnership in relation to Extended Producers Responsibility in relation to Malta's Waste Management responsibilities. The Business Community under the umbrella of GRTU's subsidiary, Green MT, stands up to be counted with facts and not just words. This stride forward signifies the commitments owners of enterprises in the community have done to be totally committed to solving  Malta's Packaging Waste Compliance, involving Local Councils and Government in the process.

Green MT gives credit to those who believed in our commitment towards sustainable operations in such a nation wide project. Green MT publicly thanks the Prime Minister for involving himself directly to make sure Schemes continue to operate on a sustainable financial footing. Our thanks goes also to Mr Alfred Camilleri the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Investment, Mr Peter Portelli the Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and also Dr Christopher Ciantar the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Resources and Rural Affairs, for making great efforts to make sure that this public private partnership succeeds and continues to operate in a sustainable manner.

The Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises is also grateful to the policy guideline provided by Ministers Tonio Fenech and George Pullicino and Parliamentary Secretary Mario Demarco  to their respective Permanent Secretaries.

Green MT thanks also both the Competent Authority, MEPA for taking the measures required in order to create both a fair and level playing field for all traders and importers, who are all producers of packaging waste, and also for today providing a solid basis for Malta to reach its National targets in respect to recovery and recycling. We thank MEPAs Environment Directorate for taking the necessary steps to make sure Legal Notice 277 of 2006 is implemented in a fair and equitable manner for all importers.

Green MT acknowledges the efforts by management and staff at Malta's only Material Recovery Facility operated by WasteServ Malta Limited.  Although there is much more work that needs to be done to establish a realistic and competitive cost of operation to be borne by enterprise, the basis of mutual respect and effort is there, and Green MT acknowledges  that such is the way forward.

The Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises has left no stone unturned to make sure that our commitment to the Environment is a best practice for Malta's Business Community led by an Organisation that has a vision. The Business Community under the direction of GRTU can clearly say that Green MT is providing services to the Community through direct financing by the same Business Community. These are the real facts. GRTU through continuous discussions with Government continues to stress that such initiatives are only a success if together we want them to be a success. Together we are building history in the way we take responsibility of our waste and manage it.

Government  is now committed to continue to ensure the viability of the Schemes and Green MT is committed to continue to serve the community with the least burden on competitive private enterprise.

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