NGOs put forward recommendations on Waste Management Plan

Friends of the Earth Malta and Moviment Graffitti have submitted joint recommendation on the ‘Long term Waste Management Plan (2021-2030) in the Maltese Islands’ as part of government’s consultation process.

Friends of the Earth Malta and Moviment Graffitti have particularly been insisting on the importance of waste reduction as the first and foremost measure to manage Malta’s waste and are demanding that this new Waste Management Plan puts its emphasis on reducing waste generation, as per EU Waste Hierarchy.

The NGOs acknowledge that a number of proposed measures go in the right direction to improve Malta’s Waste Management and make it more sustainable. However, certain points and measures in the document do need to be addressed more coherently, considering the urgency of the matter.

Though it is ambitious in nature, the main concern is that this plan may not suffice. Indeed, as mentioned in the document, past plans have not managed to deliver their promises, and nothing guarantees that this one will. The recycling rate in 2018 was at 15% whereas the aim for 2035 is 55% (failing the 50% in 2020). The landfilling rate in 2018 was at 85% aiming for 10% in 2035. We recognize that this should be catered for by the European Union, which strives to enforce legislation in Member States. However, we believe that more detailed plans and obligations should be expressed and committed on a national level. We also wish to underline the emergency of the situation, specifically as Malta’s per capita waste production is one of the highest in Europe. We acknowledge that change cannot be immediate. However, too many actions are planned in the medium to long term, whereas they should be made the absolute priority.

Martin Galea De Giovanni chairperson of Friends of the Earth Malta said “The damning NAO report on the effectiveness of plastic waste management published this week , clearly shows that previous Waste Management Plans have failed in being effective. FoE Malta has been sounding the alarm bells since when the (solid) waste management Strategy was published in 2001 . We understand that some decisive measures might not be popular with some sectors, but unless bold steps are taken now, the economic, social and environmental price to pay will be even higher in the long term.”

The generation of waste has increased by 18% in 3 years rising from circa 245,000 tonnes in 2014, to 290,000 tonnes in 2017. Seeing as Malta has been struggling for a long time to manage its generated waste, it is fundamental to transition to a real circular economy.

Christine Cassar from Moviment Graffitti concluded that “While prevention of waste generation is the focus of an important point, some measures, like the paper-reduction through the unsolicited mail project, seem quite piddling. Even though we agree that every step helps, presenting such measures cannot be a way of taking the focus off more ambitious measures such as disposal fees for industries and high importation tax on secondary packaging.”

While the two NGOs understand the economic realities behind waste management, they stressed that it is also important to remember the economic, social and human costs behind the destruction of nature through the production of waste and these alone should suffice to justify the change. This plan should be linked to other policies and plans such as tourism and development increase, amongst others.

A copy of the recommendations document can be downloaded here.

 

 

NGOs Iressqu Rakomandazzjonijiet dwar il-Pjan għall-Immaniġġar tal-Iskart

Friends of the Earth Malta u Moviment Graffitti ssottomettew rakomandazzjonijiet dwar il-Pjan fit-Tul għall-Immaniġġar tal-Iskart (2021-2030) fil-Gżejjer Maltin bħala parti mill-proċess ta’ konsultazzjoni tal-gvern.

Friends of the Earth Malta u Moviment Graffitti ilhom jinsistu partikolarment fuq l-importanza tattnaqqis tal-iskart bħala l-miżura li trid tiġi l-ewwel u qabel kollox biex jiġi immaniġġjat l-iskart ta’ Malta, u qed jitolbu li dan il-pjan il-ġdid għall-immaniġġar tal-iskart jenfasizza fuq it-tnaqqis tal-ġenerazzjoni tal-iskart, skont il-Ġerarkija tal-Iskart tal-UE. L-NGOs jirrikonoxxu li numru ta’ miżuri proposti huma fit-triq it-tajba biex itejbu l-immaniġġar tal-iskart ta’ Malta u jagħmluh iktar sostenibbli. Madankollu, ċerti punti u miżuri fid-dokumenti għandhom jiġu indirizzati b’mod iktar koerenti meta tiqies l-urġenza tal-kwistjoni.

Għalkemm ambizzjuz fin-natura tiegħu, it-tħassib ewlieni hu li dan il-pjan jaf ma jkunx biżżejjed. Tabilħaqq, kif imsemmi fid-dokument, il-pjanijiet tal-passat ma rnexxilhomx iwettqu l-wegħdiet tagħhom, u xejn ma jiggarantixxi li dan se jsir mill-pjan il-ġdid. Ir-rata ta’ riċiklaġġ fl-2018 kienet ta’ 15%, filwaqt li l-għan għall-2035 huwa ta’ 55% (b’falliment tal-50% fl-2020). Ir-rata tal-landfilling fl-2018 kienet ta’ 85% u qed tiġi immirata 10% fl-2035. Aħna nirrikonoxxu li dan għandu jiġi provdut mill-Unjoni Ewropea, li tirsisti biex tinforza l-leġiżlazzjoni fl-Istati Membri. Madankollu, aħna nemmnu li għandhom jingħataw pjanijiet u obbligi iktar dettaljati li jkunu impenjati fuq livell nazzjonali. Nixtiequ wkoll nenfasizzaw l-emerġenza tas-sitwazzjoni, speċifikament billi l-produzzjoni ta’ skart per capita f’Malta hija waħda mill-ogħla fl-Ewropa. Nirikonoxxu wkoll li l-bidla ma tistax tkun waħda immedjata, imma hemm wisq azzjonijiet pjanati fuq terminu medju jew twil, meta dawn għandhom jingħataw il-prijorita’ assoluta.

Martin Galea De Giovanni, chairperson ta’ Friends of the Earth Malta, qal, “Ir-rapport ikkundannat tal-NAO dwar l-effettivita’ tal-immaniġġar tal-iskart tal-plastik ippublikat din il-ġimgħa[1], juri biċ-ċar lil-pjanijiet preċedenti tal-Immaniġġar tal-Iskart naqsu milli jkunu effettivi. FoE Malta ilha ssemma’ leħenha minn meta ġiet ippublikata l-Istrateġija (soda) għall-Immaniġġar tal-Iskart fl-2001[2]. Aħna nifhmu li miżuri deċiżivi ma jistgħux ikunu popolari ma’ ċerti setturi, imma sakemm ma jittieħdux passi kuraġġużi issa, il-prezz ekonomiku, soċjali u ambjentali se jkun ħafna ogħla fil-futur.”

Il-ġenerazzjoni tal-iskart żdiedet bit-18% fi 3 snin, u telgħet minn madwar 245,000 tunnellata metrika fl-2014 għal 290,000 tunnellata metrika fl-2017. Billi Malta ilha tissielet għall-żmien twil biex timmaniġja l-iskart iġġenerat tagħha, huwa fundamentali li ssir transizzjoni għal ekonomija ċirkolari.

Christine Cassar mill-Moviment Graffitti ikkonkludiet li “filwaqt li l-prevenzjoni tal-ġenerazzjoni taliskart hi l-fokus ta’ punt importanti, xi miżuri bħat-tnaqqis tal-karti permezz tal-proġett tal-posta mhux mitluba jidhru pjuttost żgħar. Anki jekk naqblu li kull naqra tgħin, il-preżentazzjoni ta’ miżuri bħal dawn ma tistax tkun mod ta’ kif titneħħa l-attenzjoni minn fuq miżuri iktar ambizzjużi bħat-tariffi tar-rimi tal-iskart għall-industriji u taxxa għolja fuq l-importazzjoni ta’ ippakkjar sekondarju.”

Filwaqt li ż-żewġ NGOs jifhmu r-realtajiet ekonomiċi wara l-immaniġġar tal-iskart, huma saħqu wkoll li hu importanti li niftakru fl-ispejjeż ekonomiċi, soċjali u umani wara l-qerda tan-natura permezz tal-produzzjoni tal-iskart, u dawn biss għandhom ikunu biżżejjed biex jiġġustifikaw il-bidla. Dan il-pjan għandu jkun marbut ma’ politiki u pjanijiet oħra bħat-turiżmu u ż-żieda fl-iżvilupp, fost oħrajn.

Kopja tad-dokument tar-rakomandazzjonijiet tista’ titniżżel minn:

Click to access FoE-and-MG-Feedback-Long-Term-Waste-Management-Plan-.pdf

[1] https://nao.gov.mt/en/press-releases/4/1274/performance-audit-the-effectiveness-of-plasti
[2] https://foemalta.org/news/waste-management-strategy-needs-adjusting/