BCRS Malta Ltd., the licensed operator of the national Beverage Container Refund Scheme, has ramped up its education campaign across Malta and Gozo aimed at educating the public and businesses on how to participate in the recycling of single-use beverage containers that form part of the scheme. The aim of the campaign is to familiarise the public with the use of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) located across the Maltese Islands and rally their participation to collect and recycle up to 90% of all single-use beverage containers by 2026. The not-for-profit operator, which is owned by the Malta Beverage Producers Association, the Malta Beverage Importers Association and the Malta Beverage Retailers Association, which associations through their respective statutes ensure representation of both larger and smaller economic operators, will be effectively closing the life cycle of single-use beverage bottles and cans made of plastic, metal and glass based on Circular Economy principles, in line with National and EU environmental commitments.

As of the 14th of November, a deposit of €0.10c will apply as a separate charge to the price of the beverages included in the scheme. The deposit will be charged by Producers and Importers to retailers and catering establishments at wholesale stage and transferred to BCRS Malta. Retailers will subsequently request this deposit from the consumer. The deposit value shall not be subject to VAT and shall be clearly indicated as a separate charge  from the price of the beverage on all receipts and invoices.

Consumers can then get the full refund of their deposits by returning the empty beverage container to one of the 320 BCRS Reverse Vending Machines installed across supermarkets and major beverage retail outlets, and within Public Recycling Hubs around Malta and Gozo. A full refund of the deposit shall be returned to consumers by means of a voucher issued by the Reverse Vending Machines to be deducted against the bill at retail shops where beverages are sold. Consumers can also opt to donate the refunded 10c to charity directly from the RVMs.

In the case of catering establishments, the deposit is to be charged to the consumer only when the beverage container is taken away from the establishment by the consumer. When consumed on-premises, the consumer shall not be charged, and the establishment shall keep the beverage containers and as such will claim the deposit back when the said containers are returned to BCRS.

BCRS Malta Ltd. Chairperson, Mr. Pierre Fava, said: “From the onset, our mindset has been to transform a challenge into an opportunity. With this in mind, we have invested almost €18 million in this project including the construction of Malta’s first privately funded Clearing Centre and Sorting Plant dedicated to beverage container waste. Through our education campaign we are calling upon and encouraging the public to make use of this scheme to ensure Malta moves towards reaching a more sustainable way of living for everyone on the islands. Our aim as operators is primarily the ease-of-access to consumers via a tech-driven approach. In addition, all our RVMs are state-of-the-art engineered with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology allowing us to continuously monitor the wider infrastructure which underpins the scheme’s efficient operation. For example, this provides our dedicated waste collector with real-time visibility of the volume capacity of RVMs for collection.”

In preparation for the national Beverage Container Refund Scheme launch, BCRS Malta Ltd was instrumental in minimising the impact on all economic operators, whereby the original €100 registration fee per container registered with the scheme was waived in full, with BCRS Malta Ltd fully absorbing the related administrative costs. Furthermore, the company has, and will continue to reach out to the business community and stakeholders from the Producers, Importers, Distributors, Retail and Catering sectors in order to assist and guide them on registering their participation in the scheme to fulfil their legal obligations.

More information is available on the dedicated portal www.bcrsmalta.mt or one can call the helpline 9909 9955.

Monique Chambers

Monique started indulge in 2011 and has since created Indulge Me GIFT and Indulge Me FOOD and volume 1 of The Artists Directory - Malta. A marketing professional by trade, Monique's passion is to promote local talent and Malta in general. Free time is her biggest indulgence, when she can tinker in her craft room or the kitchen, or be selfish with a book, the sofa and good glass of wine (of course, wearing something beautiful and with freshly coiffed hair!)

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