The environmental benefits of mandatory waste separation

The Environment & Resources Authority (ERA) explains how waste separation positively impacts the environment.

The Mandatory Waste Separation regulations have become enforceable for every individual, be it a business enterprise or a private residence as from the 14th April. Those who do not separate their waste adequately will face fines, starting from €25 up to €150 which will come into force as of October 14th.  During this six-month period, the Environment and Resources Authority will be embarking on an educational campaign to disseminate helpful information to the public.

The Mandatory Waste Separation regulations represent an important step towards achieving Malta’s sustainability goals in line with EU commitments and obligations.  It is a key measure in increasing recycling efforts and the quality of recyclable material, as well as decreasing the amount of waste ending up in our landfills, which are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.  Separation of recyclable materials such as paper, plastic and glass is beneficial to the environment. When such materials are properly recycled, the production of new materials would be reduced, saving up energy and natural resources in return. Similarly, the separate collection of organic waste leads to the generation of energy and a compost like output, following the necessary treatment.

Mandatory waste separation also encourages people to be more mindful of the waste they produce. By separating their waste, individuals and businesses become more aware of what they are throwing away and can look for ways to reduce their waste and consumption overall.  This can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle and a reduction in the amount of waste generated in the long run.

To comply with this new law, individuals and businesses alike must separate their waste into three categories, namely, recyclables in the grey or green bag, organic waste in the white bag and residual waste in the black bag. Recyclables include clean paper, cardboard, plastic and metal. Organic waste includes food scraps, tissues, leaves and other biodegradable materials. Residual waste is everything else that cannot be recycled or composted and which is not hazardous in nature. Hazardous waste, that includes expired medicines, oils, solvents, paint, batteries, spent light bulbs and neon tubes, and a wide variety of chemicals, should be disposed in an environmentally safe way in dedicated bins, Civic Amenity Sites or by means of the Roadshow trucks that make the rounds in localities from time to time. 

The Environment and Resources Authority is urging everyone to comply with this new regulation and to adopt it as part of their lifestyle for the greater good.  By working together, we can create a cleaner, greener Malta and Gozo for everyone to enjoy.

For more information about the Mandatory Waste Separation visit era.org.mt. •

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