BCRS machine

Consumers have recycled 100 million beverage containers in less than a year since the Beverage Container Refund Scheme (BCRS) was introduced in Malta.

The scheme is operated by BCRS Malta, a non-profit operator made up of a number of Malta’s beverage producers, importers, and retailer associations. The initiative was rolled out in November 2022 and currently, Malta is the only country in the Mediterranean with a deposit return scheme.

The average daily collection rate registered at 675,000, placing the operator on track to achieving its target of retrieving 70 per cent of all beverage containers placed on the market by the end of 2023.

“Since January, the collection rate has steadily remained at around 74 per cent. We are pleased to see that the majority of people have embraced this new practice of recycling,” said a BCRS Malta spokesperson.

The operator’s management attributes its success to the fact that it remained attentive to people’s feedback and adapted accordingly.

As the summer season takes hold, the operator is anticipating a spike in sales of beverages, and as a result is in the process of rolling out 10 large-scale reverse vending machines depots for containers.

Five such high-capacity machine depots are already up and running: at the BCRS Clearing Centre in Ħal Far, Luxol’s Park-and-Ride in Pembroke, the Marsa Industrial Park, the former Belleview area in Mellieħa and the San Gwann Industrial Park. 

A further two will be switched on in the coming days at the Bulebel Industrial Park in Żejtun and the Xewkija Industrial Park in Gozo.

Meanwhile, another three are awaiting permits, and are expected to be installed in the coming weeks.

These high-capacity machines can take up to 9,000 plastic bottles and allow consumers to deposit them all their containers at once.

However, since these high-capacity machines only accept plastic containers, single-feed reverse vending machines are also being installed at each hub to cater for glass containers and metal cans.

The company is also collaborating with festival and events’ organisers to install temporary reverse vending machines.

“Recovering 100 million containers is a major achievement and we look forward to building on this milestone and seeing these numbers increase in the future.”

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