Bottling recycling company eager to avoid connection with Keith Schembri

BCRS Malta issues statement clarifying it has no connection with Kasco Group

The €18 million Hal Far plant of BCRS
The €18 million Hal Far plant of BCRS

The operators of Malta’s fledgling beverage container refund scheme has said it has no connection with the Kasco Group, whose principals were once angling for the prospective recycling scheme.

BCRS Malta said it had no links, as a company or as operators of the reverse vending machines, with Kasco, the group of companies run by Keith Schembri, the disgraced former chief of staff to prime minister Joseph Muscat. Schembri stepped down from his role at the height of the December 2019 political crisis when his secret business partner, Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech, was arrested and accused of masterminding the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

“Following media reports which may have caused the public to form a mistaken impression, we feel the need to clarify that BCRS is a not-for-profit company incorporated by beverage producers, importers and retailers associations, and that our machines are manufactured and supplied by different companies to those mentioned in the press,” BCRS said in a statement.

Both Yorgen Fenech and a Kasco director, Malcolm Scerri, had communicated in the past with an intention to set up a company that would take over Malta’s national beverage recycling scheme.

BCRS said it welcomed public scrutiny of its operations but said it should not be “gratuitously linked to political controversies of which we form no part.”

BCRS runs an €18 million state-of-the-art facility in Hal-Far and 320 reverse vending machines manufactured by Envipco, a US technology company that has been in this line of business for over four decades.

The operations of BCRS are regulated by the government agency Circular Economy Malta.

“We will seek to better explain the operation of the scheme – which is similar to ones successfully in operation in various EU countries – in the coming weeks as we pursue recovery and recycling targets that are more ambitious than those imposed by the European Commission,” the spokesperson said.

BCRS Malta Ltd was incorporated by the Malta Beverage Producers Association, the Malta Beverage Importers Association and the Malta Beverage Retailers Association with the obligation, among others, to assume the collective extended producer responsibility on behalf of producers, importers and retailers of single-use beverage containers.