Two local companies cut down on more than 6.5 million plastic bags a year
In addition to the ban on the importation into Malta of single-use plastic items, another legal notice with restrictions on the placing on the market of lightweight plastic bags, has been in force since 1 January.
This law has led to two companies, that have more than a hundred grocery stores between them, starting to take environmental initiatives, so much so that between them they will cut down on more than six and a half million plastic bags a year.
Since the beginning of the year, Malta has started to implement European Union regulations and has stopped importing lightweight plastic bags or bags with a thickness of less than fifty microns as explained to us by the official of the Environment and Resources Authority, Christopher Cousin.
“This year they will not be allowed to be imported anymore, nor will they be manufactured here in Malta and placed on the Maltese market, ie there will be no more production for Malta but next year they will not be used even if they remain in stock. . ”
Among others, the Maypole group welcomed this change about six months ago as Maltese bread began to be sold in paper bags instead of plastic, as explained by one of the directors of this group, Reuben Debono.
“It wasn’t an easy choice because it means people have to adapt to something new, but thanks to this measure we were able to reduce 1.5 million plastic bags from circulation.”
Convenience group CEO Martin Agius said the company decided to make the switch to biodegradable bags to cut down on a considerable amount of conventional plastic.
“We go through over five million bags a year ie about 33 tonnes of plastic, so with this initiative we will save the environment 33 tonnes of plastic.”
The Environment Minister said the Government was doing its but, but with positive cooperation and initiatives from private companies, the shift to a more sustainable economy is happening faster.
“It’s important that the business sector works with us in this ecological transition that the country is going through, so I thank them for keeping the environment at the top of their agenda as well.”
Minister Farrugia said that it is this social and environmental awareness that is leading the economy in the right direction, and ensuring that our country continues to move in its journey towards sustainability and a cleaner environment.