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Offering plastic shopping bags becomes illegal

Offering plastic shopping bags becomes illegal

As of 24 February, 2022, the distribution, consumption and sale of plastic bags will no longer be permitted in Malta, with the new rule also applying for single-use plastic and jablo containers.

What’s more, the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) as well as Customs will be carrying out enforcement to ensure that no more single-use plastic enters the country and fines will be imposed on anyone who breaks this law.

The only exceptions are re-usable and biodegradable bags.

Wasn’t this already implemented?

Not exactly. As of 1 January 2021, the local manufacturing and importation of plastic bags was stopped entirely. Single-use products including straws and cutlery were also removed from the market. The use of single-use plastics that were already in Malta was permitted until the end of the year. However, as of February 2022, the new measures will be coming into effect, seeing the distribution, consumption and sale of single-use plastics completely disallowed.

Which items are affected by the law?

Just to be clear, items affected by the new law include plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, balloon sticks, beverage stirrers and straws, jablo cups and beverage containers. The law makes Malta one of the first countries to prohibit the importation of such single-use plastics from January 2021.

“This is being enacted as part of the government’s vision to strengthen the environment, tackle marine pollution and improve the quality of our biodiversity,” said the Environment Ministry.

What do you think of the new law?