News | Wednesday, 01 July 2009

GreenPak achieves substantial benefits for the environment

Few are perhaps conscious of the substantial contribution GreenPak is making in the collection of packaging waste in Malta. In the few years the GreenPak system has been operating, the collection situation of this type of waste, has change hugely. It is enough to say that before GreenPak came into the picture, Malta was among the most inefficient countries in the recovery of packaging waste.
In fact, in its latest annual report, GreenPak declared that for a number of consecutive years, it had achieved and surpassed the national recycling goals Malta had set.
GreenPak member companies are contributing regularly to continue achieving high recycling results – the statistics of the success achieved by GreenPak speak for themselves.
Since GreenPak has been operating, enough energy has been saved to light up Malta for a day and a half. Other achievements include:
- Recycled Plastic enough to make 1 million fleece jackets
- Recycled Cardboard enough to save 14,000 trees
- Saved Energy enough to power 200 offices for 1 year
- Recycled 6,000,000 glass bottles
- Recycled Metal enough to make 22,000 bicycles
- Saved Energy enough to operate A/C Units for 1 year
- Recycled Plastic enough to make 200,000 carpets
- Saved 32,000m³ of space at Ghallis Landfill

These figures show that recycling according to the GreenPak scheme is yielding very significant results and, at the same time, is increasingly important because of the crisis the world is facing from climate change. Government today are continuously considering and introducing systems to ease the ill effects caused by this crisis.
On the other hand, however, research by EUROSTAT, the Office of Statistics of the European Communities, on the general recycling quotas of 2006, shows that Malta came last among the EU member states, with almost 10 percent only of packaging waste recovered by being re-used for something else or being recycled.
This deficiency becomes more obvious when considering the success rate other countries achieved, including Belgium, which recovered or recycled almost 80 percent of its packaging waste, Austria (at 68 percent) and Germany (at 66 percent).
Ing. Mario Schembri, Chief Executive of Green Dot Malta, which operates the GreenPak scheme, says: “Initiatives managed by the private sector, such as the GreenPak scheme, led EU countries to achieve high recycling results, without taxing citizens. The activities being conducted according to the GreenPak scheme are helping Malta achieve the same levels of other countries which are doing better than we are in this sector, because they managed to turn waste into a resource and at the same time an opportunity for business.”
He added: “Unfortunately in Malta, GreenPak is not finding the necessary support of the authorities. All that GreenPak is asking for is that its members do not continue being taxed twice as if they are not in the GreenPak scheme, and that the extra taxation paid be returned to GreenPak members as soon as possible,” Schembri said.
GreenDot Malta is also socially committed by financing various initiatives, such as the latest two editions of Earth Garden 2008 and 2009.
The environment belongs to everyone and private enterprise should be urged to invest in the creation and expansion of the green sector of the economy. Apart from generating good profit for those investing in it, the green sector creates new employment while protecting the environment.
This is what every modern state with environmental credentials should do – implement not only the EU’s directives but, much more important, offer a better environment to its people.
GreenPak is a scheme authorised and approved by the MEPA for the collection of packaging waste in Malta. Organisations such as SMEs and Local Councils can obtain more information about the recycling scheme by phoning 21660233.



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01 July 2009

Malta Today


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