In a collaborative effort to combat littering and reduce environmental impact, Friends of the Earth Malta (FoEMalta) has partnered with Tipico to donate new waste bins in Floriana. The initiative aims to address the longstanding issue of improper waste disposal, particularly in the vicinity of the popular Sunday market and the transport Malta driving test centre.
Recognising the severity of the littering problem in Floriana, FoE Malta, whose offices are in the area, has installed four additional waste bins and one small cigarette bin along the stretch of road that hosts the bustling Sunday market. Over the past five years, the NGO has observed a disturbing increase in littering, illegal dumping, and substantial post-market waste left strewn about on the road, the pavement and the green area on the periphery.
The proximity of Floriana to the sea has exacerbated the issue, with wind-blown waste finding its way into the neighbouring harbour, posing a significant threat to local marine life. FoE Malta stressed the importance of addressing this environmental concern and lauded the cooperation of the cleansing department, which has incorporated the new area into their regular route, ensuring the timely emptying of bins.
The organisation’s director, Martin Galea de Giovanni, explained ‘while the bins are useful, we should keep in mind that reducing consumption should remain the priority.’ He underscored the need for market stall owners to be held accountable for the waste they generate, and that ultimately the goal should remain reducing the waste produced. Efforts like the NGO’s upcoming Clothes Swap being held on the 1st of December help to combat our throw-away culture.
Despite the positive impact of the new bins, a recent cleanup event, conducted in collaboration with Tipico employees, revealed an alarming reality. Within a mere 10-metre stretch, over 50 bags of waste were collected, highlighting the persistent challenge of managing waste generated during the weekly market. The collected waste included a substantial amount of plastic, including microplastics, packaging, paper bags, and various other forms of trash.
The NGO also shared that the green area along the pavement could be turned into a green space for the general public. Right now it is fenced off, and remains inaccessible, but they suggested that with the correct management it could become an extension of their neighbouring community garden.
FoE Malta emphasised the need for improved waste management strategies during market events and called for increased enforcement measures to combat littering in the area. The NGO remains committed to working closely with local authorities, businesses, and the community to contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable environment for Floriana as well as the Maltese islands as a whole. Click here to find out more on how to support us with our work.