|Help us take action against climate changeâ€¦|
Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our planet. Burning coal, oil and gas, but also intensive agriculture or cutting forests pollute the atmosphere with greenhouse gases that heat up the planet.
|The good news is that all we need to save the climate is in our hands.|
|Friends of the Earth, Malta seeks to influence government to make changes in policies in favour of people and planet|
|Our next challenge is to lobby the Maltese government to commit to renewable energy and energy efficiency as a tangible means not only to meet Maltaâ€™s international emission targets but to ensure a healthier planet and a better way of life for future generations|
â€¦ join our campaign and support Friends of the Earth
Biodiesel is to a certain extent considered as a renewable fuel derived from vegetable oil or animal fats that can be added to petroleum diesel as a blend or used on its own. In Europe, production of biodiesel from energy crops has grown steadily in the last decade, principally focused on rapeseed used for oil and energy. In the U.S., most biodiesel is made from soybeans.
In the developing world, biodiesel is produced from palm oil, sunflowers, and other sources. In Indonesia, there is significant concern that biodiesel may be causing deforestation, as native forests and marshland are removed to make way for palm oil plantations.
On the surface, and until very recently, biofuels were hailed as the most promising and ideal solution to solve the climate change problem. They can be grown in large amounts and the carbon that is released by burning them is equal to the amount they use as they grow. At first glance this â€œback of the envelopeâ€ calculation looks very plausible, but one needs to delve deeper into the issue and looks closer at what is really going on, and also at the implications it is having on other sectors.
The energy debate has explored biofuels as a "transition" to renewable energy. Some claim that in the context of the carbon emissions, biofuels are better than oil and are a significant step toward a society based entirely on renewable energy.
We are dependent on oil because the massive infrastructure of our societies is based on the use of fossil fuels. Changing over to a biofuel society involves building a similarly massive infrastructure. Hence, in order to meet current energy demands, we must grow crops over huge areas, build factories and storage facilities, redesign automobiles to run on biodiesel, and more. We would be stuck in a biofuel society as much as we are now in a fossil fuel society.
In the case of Malta, the situation is somewhat different as our biodiesel comes from waste stream sources including used cooking oils or animal fats.
This is a more sustainable source of fuel as the used oil would otherwise end up being disposed off at the landfill. In fact, Friends of the Earth Malta urges all catering establishments that normally throw away used vegetable oil to get in touch with Edible Oil Refining Co Ltd so that used oil can be collected for the production of biodiesel.
The national sewer discharge regulation (LN 378/05) stipulates that all catering establishments should install a grease trap in order to prevent the blocking of sewers with grease and fat. At present most of the collected grease ends up at the landfill and what is not collected ends up in the sea.
Edible Oil is offering a service whereby oil is collected to make biodiesel. Biodiesel has several environmental advantages over mineral diesel and is less dangerous to health, while collecting and re-using spent oil will reduce our waste problems.
Motor Vehicles that run on diesel can easily switch to biodiesel. This can be obtainable from some of the petrol stations around the island. (Click here for full list)
All catering establishments interested in having their oil collected should phone the sales department at Edible Oil on 21 232111.