Last Updated on Monday, 14 November, 2022 at 1:18 pm by Andre Camilleri
Reverse Vending Machines are now available for public use
The Beverage Container Refund Scheme has been officially set in motion by the licensed operator BCRS Malta Ltd, today, culminating a collective effort by the local business community over the last few years in collaboration with Government and in accordance with the respective BCRS Legal Regulations and Provisions, approved by the European Commission, for the collection of single-use beverage containers made of Plastic, Metal and Glass based on effective Circular Economy Principles.
The event was held this morning at the newly constructed BCRS Clearing Centre in Hal Far, which is the first plant in Malta dedicated exclusively to the management of empty single use beverage containers and saw speeches by the Chairperson and CEO on behalf of BCRS Malta Ltd as well as representatives of the constituted bodies and other associations on behalf of the business community. The event ended with a tour of the Clearing Centre.
“The Scheme came to life today, following a private investment of €18 million by BCRS Malta Ltd, making it the first tech-driven national environmental scheme of its kind to be funded, developed and operated fully by a private not-for-profit operator under licence from Government, incorporated by The Malta Beverage Producers Association, The Malta Beverage Importers Association and The Malta Beverage Retailers Association. Through the scheme, our businesses community wants to ensure that Malta delivers on the targets committed to the EU for the collection and recycling of up to 90% of all single-use beverage containers by 2026, by delivering a ground-breaking, tech driven and sustainable environmental circular economy initiative underpinned by an approach of professionalism, transparency and good governance, consistent with the values cherished by the local business community ,” said Mr Pierre Fava, Chairperson of BCRS Malta Ltd.
From today, an extensive network of Reverse Vending Machines will start recycling empty single-use beverage containers from consumers, in return for a deposit refund. A deposit of €0.10c is added, as a separate charge, to the price of the beverages included in the scheme. The deposit will be charged by Producers and Importers to retailers and catering establishments at wholesale stage and transferred to BCRS Malta. Retailers will subsequently request this deposit from the consumer. The deposit value shall not be subject to VAT and shall be clearly indicated as a separate charge from the price of the beverage on all receipts and invoices.
Consumers can get back a full refund of the 10c deposit for every empty beverage container recycled 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.
A full refund of the deposit shall be returned to consumers by means of a voucher issued by the Reverse Vending Machines to be deducted against the bill at retail shops where beverages are sold. Consumers can also opt to donate the full refunded deposit value to charity directly from the RVMs.
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
All the recycled bottles collected are then transported to the BCRS Clearing Centre using dedicated vehicles so that they are never mixed with any other contaminating waste streams, where they will be sorted and packed efficiently to be exported for recycling. This will effectively close the circular economy loop whereby waste generated will become once again a resource for effective re-use, in the process greatly reducing wasteful littering and lessening the burden on the environment.
“A national project such as this requires an effective function of the sum of its parts starting from ensuring there is adequate state-of-the-art facilities, to ensuring the accessibility of the Reverse Vending Machines, to promoting it nationally thereby encouraging uptake of the scheme by the public and last but not least, to employing the right personnel to manage the different facets of the scheme. While arriving to this point has not been an easy task, we look forward to analysing the success of the scheme and continue developing it further along the way,” said Ing. Edward Chetcuti, CEO of BCRS Malta Ltd.
All the Reverse Vending Machines installed around Malta and Gozo have been activated and the public can start exchanging their used containers for vouchers to be redeemed from local retail shops that are part of the scheme.