[WATCH] Eco-contribution on electronics to end by September

Removal of eco-contribution on electronics and introduction of better electronic waste management

Environment minister Leo Brincat
Environment minister Leo Brincat

Environment minister Leo Brincat said that eco-contribution on electronics will no longer have to be paid by September this year, following an agreement between the government and relevant stakeholders.

The end of the eco-contribution will also be accompanied by better respect for the rules related to electronic waste known as WEEE.

The meeting was attended by various representatives from the Ministry for the Environment, as well as representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, GRTU and waste management operators GreenPak and GreenMt.

Brincat explained that the end of the eco contribution had been a long-awaited budgetary measure, and that the ultimate decision had been reached after various formal, informal meetings as well as public and online consultations.

“We will also be publishing two legal notices in the coming days,” Brincat said, explaining that one would be an amendment of the eco-contribution tax and another stipulating the actual rules governing electronic waste known as WEEE.

He added that only those who were enrolled in an authorised scheme, or who were willing to sign a formal agreement to regulate their own operations would be able to benefit from the removal of the eco-contribution tax.

“These parties will have until the end of August to decide and inform MEPA whether to join the scheme or not and whether they would be regulating themselves.”

“Nobody will be allowed to abuse of the system and there will be appropriate penalties for whoever is caught abusing the system,” he added.

He further explained that those who opted for this measure could choose to either be the subject of a banking guarantee or to embark on an insurance scheme in a Government approved waste scheme.

“A further agreement also points out that electronic waste collected by local councils and deposited at Civic Amenity Sites, will be managed by WasteServ,” Brincat said adding that the latter company would then have a duty to distribute this waste appropriately between authorised schemes.

Brincat went on to label this a “brave and necessary step” to strengthen the environment and businesses of the country.

“This step will benefit the environment without imposing any new burdens on the commercial sector or on consumers, all the while ensuring the country’s laws are observed as they should.”

GreenPak CEO Mario Schembri explained that the eco-contribution tax used to hold back the recycling of electronics due to the fact that it was reserved for certain specific products, and given its high rates.

“The industry will be able to invest in giving local councils the necessary resources to collect electronic waste and recycle it in the appropriate companies due to the removal of the tax.”