Friends of the Earth Malta: it is time for tough policies

Friends of the Earth Malta (FoE Malta) welcomes the publication of the Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of certain plastic products by the European Commission.

FoE recommends that products such as food and beverage containers should be reduced by 80% by 2030
FoE recommends that products such as food and beverage containers should be reduced by 80% by 2030

From bans and reduction efforts, to adequate labelling and producer responsibility schemes, Friends of the Earth (FoE) Malta believes that it is time for some tough policies to be drawn up before Malta is forced to make unpalatable decisions on its waste management strategy.

This is why FoE suggested rooms for improvement to the EU proposal and has made its own recommendations as part of the consultation process.

In an official statement published on their website earlier today, FoE Malta said that it is of paramount importance that single-use plastic is reduced and reused and that Malta and other EU countries have a responsibility in ensuring the reduction of this harmful product while incentivising reusable alternatives. This could be achieved, they said, through various policy measures obliging catering outlets to use durable and sustainable tableware.

Reduction targets for food and beverage containers and cups should be stricter, the NGO said, and we should aspire for a 50% reduction by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2030. 

Another harmful practice that could be done away with is the release of multiple balloons into the atmosphere at certain events, which more often than not end up in the ocean, causing harm to marine life. Many state-level bans have been endorsed globally to prevent this practice and Malta should follow suit.

FoE Malta warned that the authorities should be wary of bio-based and biodegradable plastics as it is an inconvenient subsitute to single-use plastics since these are still detrimental to the environment. However, if Malta does eventually start using biodegradables, these should be accurately labelled to indicate to the consumer where they can be adequately composted since they cannot be easily disposed of in a domestic environment.

For the last three years, FoE Malta has been urging authorities to take waste reduction seriously. They now believe that the situation is critical and single-use plastics must come to an end as all the world is taking note and enacting pertinent policies.

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