Malta had lowest rate of recycling plastic packaging waste in EU in 2018

Plastic recycling in action at one of the smart iBiNs installed by GreenPak. (source: GreenPak media)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 at 1:32 pm by Andre Camilleri

In 2018, Malta ranked the lowest out of all 27 EU member states with regards to the recycling of plastic packaging waste, recent Eurostat statistics have shown. 

This was also the case in 2017. 

Eurostat statistics published on Wednesday show that an an estimated 41.5% of plastic packaging waste was recycled in 2018 with seven EU Member States recycling more than half of the plastic packaging waste. 

The highest-ranking state is Lithuania standing at a commendable 69.3% rate of recycling, followed by Slovenia (60.4%, 2017 data), Bulgaria (59.2%), Czechia (57.0%), Cyprus (54.3%), Slovakia (51.4%) and Spain (50.7%).

At the other end of the scale, there is Malta with just 19.2% (based on 2017 data) of plastic packaging waste being recycled.

This is a repetition of the Eurostat statistics for 2017 where Malta stood at 24% (based on 2016 data) recycling rate of this kind. The 4.8% difference between 2016 data and 2017 data shows that no improvements were made between one year and the next – much to the contrary in fact, the rate decreased.

However, this decrease in rates seems to be common among all other EU member states as in 2017 Lithuania registered a 74% rate of recycling such materials which shows a 4.7% drop in 2018.

Recycling, especially that of plastic materials, has been a hot topic with regards to the environment in Malta and the government has insisted that it has increased its efforts over the years in order to reduce the use of plastic and plastic waste. The most recent development is the banning of importation of single use plastics for packaging earlier this year.

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