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Record breaking year for Malta as plastic recycling volumes triple

Record breaking year for Malta as plastic recycling volumes triple

Malta has tripled its recycling performance where plastic is concerned, with even better results for other recyclables. This year will go down in history as a record-breaking turning point in sustainable waste management for the country.

“This is extremely encouraging as projections for next year are even more ambitious with substantial further improvements within reach,” said Aaron Farrugia, the environment minister.

In fact, the figures for the entire recycling chain are more substantial with a rate topping 60%, double what was being registered previously.

In terms of recyclable materials processed, 2021 will definitely be WasteServ’s most productive year since it was set up in 2002. Around 18,000 tonnes of paper, cardboard, metal, glass and plastic will be recycled and returned to the economy. Substantial increases were registered across all streams with metal and cardboard showing the greatest improvements.

“As Malta moves towards a circular economy approach, WasteServ continues to work on its performance through strategic decisions taken with the aim of improving its operations. WasteServ continues to work on implementing a €500 million investment consisting of four new state-of-the-art processing plants that will be a part of the new ECOHIVE project,” said the minister.

Richard Bilocca, the CEO of WasteServ thanked those working in the waste management sector, who he described as the island’s environmental heroes. “The current results are just a teaser of the improvements that will be attained over the next few years through the realisation of the ECOHIVE project,” he said.

What is the ECOHIVE project?

Just like the dual role of bees as pollinators for flowers, fruit and vegetables, as well as producers of honey, the ECOHIVE project processes waste in the most sustainable and resource-efficient way possible, while also turning it into precious resources – energy and agricultural compost.

The name – ECO – ties to the environment and sustainability, and HIVE references beehives, constantly buzzing and active. Four new waste management plans form part of the project, including ECOHIVE Energy, ECOHIVE Recycling, ECOHIVE Organic and ECOHIVE Hygienics.

Many aquatic plants grow in the pools and canals at Is-Simar, including a rare tasselweed. The pond and lake flora provide food and shelter for rare and localised Mediterranean killifish, as well as several crustaceans, including freshwater shrimps and molluscs.

The large, common reed supports many insects, like the green bush cricket and the Italian tree cricket. Dragonflies, including the blue emperor and the scarlet darter, patrol the water.

Facilities include a visitor centre, a nature trail, information boards and bird-watching hides. Oh, and entrance is free!

Visit BirdLife for more information. The reserve is open between September and May.