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NEWS | Wednesday, 04 February 2009

Brincat calls for immediate overhaul on plastic bags

Labour’s spokesperson for the environment, Leo Brincat, has called for an immediate change to the new rules on plastic bags, scheduled for the 1 March.
The aim of the tax is to eliminate, or reduce the 40 million plastic bags used by the Maltese every year. The eco tax meant to be introduced on March 1 would impose a hefty €0.15 on each bag.
But the resources ministry said it was not ruling out any changes more environment friendly alternatives will guarantee a reduction in the consumption of bags.
Leo Brincat said the rules do not make a distinction in the application of the new eco-contribution between normal and degradable plastic bags, as well as oxo-degradable and biodegradable bags.
“They show government’s total failure to distinguish between degradable bags and normal bags, especially since the market is saturated with non-degradable bags which are however labelled ‘degradable’,” Brincat said.
The MP said the past measures had increased the use of plastic bags, and showed there was no control over the eco-contribution, leading to abuse.
“Government is ignoring the fact that international standards exist on biodegradable bags, and is doing nothing to promote their use. There is no educational campaign. There is no education campaign to encourage the reduction in plastic bags.”


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