2023 European Week for Waste Reduction

The Wasteserv team was recently at Ta’ Qali and Birgu Farmers’ Markets. Armed with free vegetable mesh bags, they spoke with visitors about the urgent need to curb packaging waste given its negative impacts on our environment.

While some may grumble about having to pay for their shopping bags, it is crucial to recognise that the convenience of freely available plastic bags far outweighs the impact that this many a times unnecessary item can have on our environment. Because plastic bags have a short lifespan and are easily picked up by the wind, they can effortlessly reach the most remote areas where they will most likely rot into millions of microplastics. Considering all this, the nominal cost of a bag does not even begin to cover the long-lasting damage of packaging waste on our environment.

It is high time for us to change our perspective, and leading the way is the young generation. During one of our educational activities with young children, an 8-year-old girl showed us how she is turning her old sleeve shirts into cute, patterned tote bags to take to the farmers’ market. It is true that as the food industry grew less locally, yet able to feed more people, some packaging material has become unavoidable. But if we, as consumers, seriously want to make a difference, we have to stop finding excuses.

Over the last decade, packaging waste in the European Union has increased by more than 20%, and the forecast is even more alarming as a 19% increase is expected by 2030. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we come together to raise awareness about the detrimental impacts of packaging waste on our planet. That’s why we chose to kick off this year’s EWWR with a visit to Ta’ Qali farmers’ market. Whilst there, people were also invited to bring along items to dispose of in our Roadshow Trucks. Besides packaging waste like plastic and glass, these trucks also accept small electronic equipment, used cooking oil, neon tubes, light bulbs, batteries, and even pots and pans. 

Celebrating this year’s waste reduction week, which ran from November 18 to 26, there were also 79 local participants doing 111 actions making this year’s EWWR one of the most successful yet!

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