[WATCH] Public consultation opens on reduction of junk mail

Environment minister Leo Brincat says any solutions must seek 'delicate balance' between reducing jun mail generated waste and safeguarding jobs

Leo Brincat (Photo:Ray Attard)
Leo Brincat (Photo:Ray Attard)
Public consultation opens on reduction of junk mail • Video by Ray Attard

Environment minister Leo Brincat launched a public consultation process aimed at reducing the amount of junk mail that is posted in mailboxes.

Addressing the launch at the Le Meridien Hotel, Brincat said that any solution must maintain the “delicate balance” between reducing waste generated by junk mail and safeguarding jobs in the printing and mail distribution sectors.

“The law currently doesn’t differentiate between mail, unaddressed mail, and unsolicited promotional mail,” he said.

“We must tackle this problem with an open mind and weigh out all our options. We don’t want to introduce business-unfriendly measures or introduce legislation that will be too difficult to enforce.”

However, he adopted a coy stance when asked what proposals he would personally like to see implemented, arguing that doing so risks rendering the entire consultation process a sham.

The previous Nationalist administration had in its Budget for 2009 proposed a tax on junk mail, an initiative that was shelved due to stiff opposition from businesses.

During today’s meeting, small business Chamber (GRTU) president Paul Abela and Chamber of Commerce policy head Andre Fenech made it clear that their respective organsiations’ stances haven’t changed seven years down the line.

“We will oppose any additional taxes that will impact small businesses,” Abela warned.

Mario Schembri, chief executive of GreenPak – who operate Malta’s largest waste recovery system – similarly warned against resuscitating the junk mail tax proposal.

“Our belief is that taxes don’t solve environmental problems just as taxes on cigarettes don’t stop people from smoking,” he said. 

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