Without getting into the merits of whether the white flag scheme was a fraud or not, FoE Malta believes that such initiatives are cosmetic “solutions” which sweep the underlying problem of plastic waste under a carpet. For as long as plastic, especially single use plastic, continues to be used and disposed of as it is now, the problem of plastic waste pollution will continue. It will wash up on all beaches no matter how many people are employed to clean the beach before anyone else can see it.
We believe that government should work and support established NGOs who have a track record and solid credibility rather than latching on to an obscure startup with a solution that sounded too good to be true. FoE Malta is currently working on creating positive long lasting solutions which tackle the underlying problems of waste, including plastic waste. We organise repair cafes where communities comes together—people who have things that need fixing, meet others who know how to carry out repairs, and an exchange is carried out based on a solidarity economy.
We also launched a plastic free pledge and plastic free resource page to support and help people reduce their use of plastics. On top of that we also believe that stricter regulations and policies such as the Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment by the European Commission are key to achieving long term lasting results.