The Beverage Container Refund Scheme hits the 1 million mark

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 November, 2022 at 3:27 pm by The Malta Business Weekly

Over 1 million single-use beverage containers deposited for recycling within first few days.

The Beverage Container Refund Scheme has hit the ground running reaching the 1 millionth single-use beverage container collected for recycling within the first few days. Following an intensive educational campaign, the nation-wide scheme run by the not-for-profit licensed operator, BCRS Malta Ltd, was launched on 14th November which a sharp increase in public participation registered right at the onset.

Commenting on the results, BRCS Malta Ltd. CEO, Ing. Edward Chetcuti noted that: “The public’s tremendous positive response and high participation rate is confirming the choice of adopting a Refund Deposit Scheme Model which promotes and encourages a collective shared responsibility framework which will ultimately result in a cleaner and greener Maltese environment. We are filled with courage by the participation of the community to return empty containers for recycling. The 40 tons of empty containers collected from across all of Malta and Gozo, in just under 7 days, are now being sorted in our clearing centre in preparation for recycling, to be ultimately re-used again to make new beverage containers. In the coming days, BCRS Malta will roll out more Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) in some localities, as well as enhance further the overall logistics, as we build upon this important milestone of the 1st million bottle collected striving to continue enhancing the efficiency of the system to minimize inconveniences as together, we learn new ways of recycling.”

The Scheme, which is fully supported by all the constituted bodies operating in Malta, is the result of a collective effort by the local private business community over the last few years in collaboration with Government and in accordance with the respective BCRS Legal Regulations and Provisions, as approved by the European Commission. The BCRS operated scheme oversees and manages the collection of single-use beverage containers made of Plastic, Metal and Glass based on effective Circular Economy Principles.  

“The idea of a circular economy is based on the notion that a fixed quantity of material is repeatedly recycled. To achieve this, the scheme provides a separate collection stream which safeguards against any possible waste contamination and keeps the material collected and processed in prime unsullied condition to be exported abroad since in Malta currently there are no companies able to recycle the collected material back to its original raw form to be used again mixed with virgin material for the production of new beverage containers. In addition, by virtue of its licence, to provide reassurance, transparency and a traceable audit trail, every batch of collected material exported abroad by BCRS is required to be certified by the receiving recycling plant citing that it will be duly processed for reuse in accordance with EU legislations,” added Ing. Chetcuti.

In the preparatory months ahead of the launch, BCRS Malta Ltd. made a private investment of €18 million which laid out the necessary infrastructure – including the newly constructed BCRS Clearing Centre in Hal Far – as well as the state-of-the-art machinery, technology network including IoT operated RVMs, and professional personnel. The scheme runs through an extensive network of Reverse Vending Machines that recycle empty single-use beverage containers from consumers, in return for a deposit refund. Consumers can get back a full refund of the deposit in three different ways; at a Reverse Vending Machine installed at Supermarkets and Retail outlets; at a Reverse Vending Machine in a Public Recycling Hub installed in various localities and, where applicable, by taking them to retailers participating in the scheme as a redemption location using manual collection.

In the case of catering establishments, the deposit is to be charged to the consumer only when the beverage container is taken away from the establishment by the consumer. When consumed on-premises, the consumer shall not be charged, and the establishment shall keep the beverage containers and as such will claim the deposit back when the said containers are returned to BCRS.

For more information about BCRS or to find the nearest Reverse Vending Machine, visit

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