Amendments to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulations to reflect the regional collection of waste

CONSULTATION BRIEF

Start date: 20th October 2022

Closing date: 17th November 2022

Title of the public consultation: Amendments to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulations to reflect the regional collection of waste

Ministry: Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise

Entity: Environment & Resources Authority

 1. Background

Management of packaging waste is governed in line with the Waste Management (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations (S.L. 549.43) and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principle. Accordingly, producers of packaging are obliged to finance any system set up for the collection and environmentally-sound treatment of the packaging waste arising from the packaging they place on the national market and attain the applicable recycling targets. Producers placing on the market sales and grouped packaging (i.e. the packaging ending up at consumers) are obliged to join an authorised Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).

As the legislation stands, PROs main obligations are to:

  1. finance any system set up for the collection and treatment of all municipal packaging waste;
  2. make arrangements with individual Local Councils (LCs) for the door-to-door collection and the provision of recycling points (bring-in sites) for the separate collection of such waste;
  3. arrange treatment for collected recyclable packaging;
  4. attain the recycling targets; and
  5. report data to ERA.

In 2019, the Local Government Act (Chapter 363 of the Laws of Malta) was amended and introduced the function of the Regional Councils to issue calls for tenders for waste management services for the local councils within them. The Waste Management Plan for Malta 2021-2030 singles out a number of measures aimed at improving Malta’s waste management performances, including measures on waste collection based on regionalisation. In line with the amended Local Government Act, such measures aim at fostering the establishment of economies of scale through regional waste collection.

To that end, six regional service tenders were published on 19th May 2022 for “Household Waste Collection using Low Emission Vehicles” in order to cater for the door-to-door collection service for household residual waste (the black bag), organic waste (white bag) and recyclables (green/grey bag plus glass).

2. Overview of the proposed amendments

The proposed amendments aim at implementing the regionalisation reform in the management of packaging waste in line with the above-mentioned regional tenders.

Notably, through such proposed amendments, the Regional Councils are obliged to set up systems for the regional door-to-door collection, transport and treatment of all municipal packaging waste generated, attain the recycling targets with respect to such packaging waste and report data to ERA accordingly. In case of failure to achieve said targets, ERA may resort to imposing an administrative penalty on Regional Councils. On the other hand, PROs will be obliged to finance such systems according to their market share and to maintain overall management of the recycling points.

Furthermore, the proposed amendments allow for producers placing on the market refillable gas cylinders to self-comply if a return system to re-use such cylinders in an environmentally sound manner is in place.

3. Consultation

In line with Article 55 of the Environment Protection Act (Cap. 549), the public is invited to make submissions to ERA with their comments as to why and how these draft regulations could be amended.

4. Documents

EN version: https://era.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Draft-LN-PPW-amendment-Regulations-EN.pdf

MLT version: https://era.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Abbozz-AL-l-Ippakkjar-u-l-Iskart-tal-Ippakkjar-Emenda-Regolamenti-MT.pdf

5. Submission of feedback

Comments will be received by email on era.policy@era.org.mt by 17th November 2022.

 6. Further notes

Please be informed that comments submitted, together with the identity of the contributor, may be published online at the end of the public consultation, unless the contributor objects to the publication of his/her personal data. In this case, the contribution may be published in anonymous form.

All comments submitted shall be duly considered.