Over 30,000 bottles have been recycled through the Beverage Container Refund Scheme (BCRS) as of Monday (today) afternoon, mere hours after its launch.
The BCRS will see 10c added to the cost of many single use beverage containers in the hopes that consumers and businesses will deposit them at designated sites, recouping the extra cost and avoiding such waste ending up in landfills.
Paul Abela, president of the Chamber of SMEs and its representative on the BCRS board, told BusinessNow.mt that people were likely hoarding beverage containers for months in preparation for the launch, noting that Monday must have been “akin to a lottery” for those with such foresight.
“Ever since the scheme was announced, some people immediately started collecting them,” he said, adding that every bottle recycled was a win for the environment.
What is BCRS?
The beverage recycling scheme intends to address waste management failures by adding 10c to the cost of beverages covered by the scheme, with consumers able to recoup the charge by depositing empty containers at the aforementioned RVMs located across Malta’s village cores or a ‘designated redemption location’ – which can also be through RVMs located at major retailers.
Consumers who purchase a beverage at a local grocery store, for example, can then deposit that container – which must be in good condition with the barcode easily read – at any of the public RVMs across Malta’s village cores and will receive a voucher to be redeemed against a bill at any retailer. If the container is returned at an RVM located at the premises of a major retailer, then the voucher issued is redeemable only at that major retailer or its chain of outlets.
This deposit will initially be paid by beverage importers and producers to BCRS Malta Ltd, and will then be passed on down the supply chain, with each step paying 10c to its predecessor, from the importer through to the distributor, to the retailer, be it a shop or hospitality venue, to the final customer.
For more details about the BCRS, click here.
(Left) BCRS CEO Edward Chetcuti / (right) Chairman Pierre Fava next to a Reverse Vending Machine
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