On the eve of a conference in Malta which will be discussing solutions to reduce maritime pollution, especially plastic, TVM visited a Maltese company which recycles tonnes of plastic so that it does not end up in a landfill or in the sea.
Over the last few years, awareness about the risks which plastic poses to the environment has increased. During the international conference Our Ocean held in Malta last October, the Price of Wales said that the large amount of plastic fragments are ending up in the fish we consume. He quoted scientists who believe that if we keep on like this, by 2050, the sea will contain more plastic than fish.
During the Commonwealth conference in London, British PM Theresa May announced that the UK will be reducing the use of plastic in various products, such as straws.
On its part, the EU has begun to address the problem of plastic through a circular economy so that rubbish is separated in order to be re-used.
In Malta over the last six years, around 176 tonnes, or 57 million plastic caps, have been collected. These have ended up at the company C&V Polymer which processes them and exports them for recycling. Managing Director Charles Brincat explained that the caps are sorted before they are exported, because even plastic caps are made up of different types of plastic.
After this, the caps pass through a machine which breaks them up into small pieces before the material is exported.
“Every type of plastic there is, if separated, cleaned, sorted, and broken down, can be re-used 100%. It is not used 100% on its own, but is mixed with virgin plastic, but it is all used,” explained Mr Brincat.
The company does not just process plastic caps, but every type of plastic, especially that which is produced by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. In these cases, the separation of plastic is done according to colour.