GreenPak Malta calls for more enforcement to fight littering

Inconsiderate dumping of waste in San Ġwann. (source: GreenPak media)

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As littering in Malta is on the rise, GreenPak has urged the Maltese government to strengthen law enforcement activities in order to fight the issue in localities, according to a press release sent to Business Malta.

GreenPak also noted that people should be more considerate about sorting their waste appropriately in order to use their recently installed smart-technology-run iBiNs to their fullest potential.

“The iBiNs send fill levels notice to GreenPak and collections are scheduled according to these readings. It is frustrating that while iBiNs are reporting available void, some individuals cannot be bothered to place the materials inside the bin,” said GreenPak’s CEO, Mario Schembri. “Flattening carton boxes and crushing plastic bottles is the proper way to deposit materials inside the iBiNs. Dumping of recyclable waste next to the bins is a littering offence,” he added.

“We are striving to empty the iBiNs more often in the many localities served by GreenPak. Nevertheless, the biggest problem is the total disregard by the authorities to enforce fines on those that ignore the law,” the GreenPak CEO noted.

GreenPak advised the government a few months ago to focus more on enforcement, such as instigating what GreenPak calls as “Rubbish Police”. GreenPak says the proposal was discussed with the Ministry for the Environment (MSDEC), as well as authorised recycling schemes so that stakeholders would work together to come up with a solution for littering that GreenPak tags as “national disease”.

“From our side, we increased the frequency for emptying the bins and have also started emptying of iBiNs at night, so as to avoid traffic congestions. But enforcement is still an unrelenting major problem. Although GreenPak has been sending images and footage of abusive actions to both ERA [Environment and Resources Authority] and LESA [Local Enforcement System Agency] to take action against the abusers, no decrease in littering has been noticed — if anything, littering is on the increase at an alarming rate,” Mr Schembri says.

GreenPak is prepared to install CCTVs at all iBiN sites, however, due to its experiences with law enforcement, the company says it is doubtful about the future effectiveness of such measures. “Law enforcement is a basic and fundamental government function. The lack of enforcement is severely undermining our investment and our work,” Mr Schembri underscores.

GreenPak recently installed smart technology-equipped iBiNs in 42 localities the collector serves, which was also accompanied by the launch of an online application that helps citizens locate the bins. Later on GreenPak said that their new iBiNs have helped increase the recovery of plastic waste. As recent figures show that between January and May 2019 plastic waste recovery nearly doubled when compared to the same period in 2018.