Restrictions on Placing on the Market of Single-Use Plastic Products (Amendment) Regulations, 2021

CONSULTATION BRIEF

 

Start date:  24 June 2021

Closing date: 5 August 2021

Title of the public consultation: Restrictions on Placing on the Market of Single-Use Plastic Products (Amendment) Regulations, 2021

Ministry: Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning

Entity: Environment & Resources Authority

 

  1. Background

As part of the 2021 Budget speech, the Government announced a new measure (i.e. No. 144), whereby the sale and distribution of certain single use plastic (SUP) items, which are prohibited from being placed on the market of Malta as from 1st January 2021, will be prohibited in 2022.

In December 2020, Malta enacted the Restrictions on Placing on the Market of Single-Use Plastic Products Regulations (S.L. 549.140), transposing Article 5 and Article 6 (1) and 6 (2) of the SUP Directive (Directive 2019/904). In line with the SUP Directive, S.L. 549.140 prohibits the placing on the market of products made from oxo-degradable plastic as well as the SUP products listed in Part A of its Schedule, namely Cotton bud sticks; Cutlery; Plates; Straws; Beverage stirrers; Sticks to be attached to and to support balloons; certain food containers made of expanded polystyrene; Beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, including their caps and lids; and Cups for beverages made of expanded polystyrene.

In order to implement the 2021 Budget measure No. 144, an amendment to S.L. 549.140 has been drafted with a view to setting a new cut-off date for the distribution, consumption or use in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge, of those targeted products which had been placed on the market before 1st January 2021.

The proposed amendment will ban the distribution, consumption or use in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge, products made from oxo-degradable plastic as well as the following SUP products set out in Part A of the Schedule to S.L.549.140, which placing on the market has been prohibited as from 1st January 2021:

(a) Cotton bud sticks, except if they fall within the scope of Council Directive 90/385/EEC or Council Directive 93/42/EEC;

(b) Cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks);

(c) Plates;

(d) Straws, except if they fall within the scope of Directive 90/385/EEC or Directive 93/42/EEC;

(e) Beverage stirrers;

(f) Sticks to be attached to and to support balloons, except balloons for industrial or other professional uses and applications that are not distributed to consumers, including the mechanisms of such sticks;

(g) Food containers made of expanded polystyrene, i.e. receptacles such as boxes, with or without a cover, used to contain food which:

– is intended for immediate consumption, either on-the spot or take-away,

– is typically consumed from the receptacle, and

– is ready to be consumed without any further preparation, such as cooking, boiling or heating,

including food containers used for fast food or other meal ready for immediate consumption, except beverage containers, plates and packets and wrappers containing food;

(h) Beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, including their caps and lids;

(i) Cups for beverages made of expanded polystyrene, including their covers and lids.

(j) All oxo-degradable plastic items.

 

  1. 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 regulations could be amended.

 

  1. Documents

Restrictions on Placing on the Market of Single-Use Plastic Products (Amendment) Regulations, 2021

Regolamenti tal-2021 li jemendaw ir-Regolamenti dwar Restrizzjonijiet fuq it-Tqegħid fis-Suq ta’ Prodotti tal-Plastik li Jintużaw Darba Biss

 

  1. Submission of feedback

Comments will be received by email on era.policy@era.org.mt.

 

  1. 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.