Malta launches deposit return scheme

Malta has launched a nationwide deposit return scheme for cans and bottles, which aims to help the country to increase recycling rates and increase awareness around beverage packaging sustainability.

BCRS Malta Ltd., the licensed operator of the national Beverage Container Refund Scheme, ramped up its education campaign across Malta and Gozo in the month before it launched and aimed to educate the public and businesses on how to participate in the recycling of single-use beverage containers that form part of the scheme. 

The aim of the campaign is to familiarise the public with the use of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) located across the Maltese Islands and rally their participation to collect and recycle up to 90% of all single-use beverage containers by 2026. 

The not-for-profit operator, which is owned by the Malta Beverage Producers Association, the Malta Beverage Importers Association and the Malta Beverage Retailers Association, which associations through their respective statutes ensure representation of both larger and smaller economic operators, will be effectively closing the life cycle of single-use beverage bottles and cans made of plastic, metal and glass based on Circular Economy principles, in line with National and EU environmental commitments.

As of the November 14, a deposit of €0.10c will apply as a separate charge to the price of the beverages included in the scheme. 

The deposit will be charged by Producers and Importers to retailers and catering establishments at wholesale stage and transferred to BCRS Malta. Retailers will subsequently request this deposit from the consumer. 

The deposit value shall not be subject to VAT and shall be clearly indicated as a separate charge  from the price of the beverage on all receipts and invoices.

Consumers can then get the full refund of their deposits by returning the empty beverage container to one of the 320 BCRS Reverse Vending Machines installed across supermarkets and major beverage retail outlets, and within Public Recycling Hubs around Malta and Gozo. 

A full refund of the deposit shall be returned to consumers by means of a voucher issued by the Reverse Vending Machines to be deducted against the bill at retail shops where beverages are sold. Consumers can also opt to donate the refunded 10c to charity directly from the RVMs.

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