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Long term waste management plan 2021 - 2030


Start date: 14 December 2020

Closing date: 18 January 2021

Title of the public consultation: Long Term Waste Management Plan 2021-2030

Ministry: Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning

Directorate: Directorate for the Environment and Climate Change

1. Background

The Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning has developed a Waste Management Plan for the Maltese Islands 2021-2030, as mandated under the European Union Waste Framework Directive and as transposed in local legislation. As a backdrop, it must be noted that Malta’s annual municipal waste generated per capita is currently higher than most EU countries, at an average of 640kg [1]. Landfilling is still the predominant waste treatment option and our recycling rate is the lowest amongst EU Member States [2]. The new Waste Package places even more onerous targets on Malta in terms of the amount of waste which has to be recycled, that which is allowed to landfill as well as specific targets related to the recycling of certain materials not least paper, plastic, metal, glass and wood.  The status quo is not an option Waste prevention and improved management is not only a central aspect in supporting Malta’s transition towards a resource efficient and circular economy, but also in reducing pressure on Malta’s waste logistics and infrastructure and our dependence on either exporting waste or landfilling where land availability for such purpose is limited.


Through the Waste Management Plan, the Ministry’s strategic objectives are to:

  • Maximise the resource value in waste through different management options
  • Innovate by designing waste prevention initiatives to lower Malta’s per capita generation rate
  • Reform the collection system to increase economies of scale, harmonise collection practices and modernise the collection fleet
  • Build the necessary waste management facilities to treat recyclable, organic and residual waste to achieve Malta’s targets
  • Study the feasibility of an enhanced producer responsibility framework to complement Malta’s transition to a circular economy and reflect further on the true cost of waste management
  • Promote further the involvement of the private sector in waste management



The Waste Management Plan sets out a number of key priority areas that are, aligned with the strategic objectives in order to ensure a robust and effective waste governance framework. An overview of Malta’s obligations under the European Union waste Directives is provided, as well as an update on where we stand today. In bridging the gap between Malta’s current performance and the 2030 waste targets, a suite of ambitious measures is outlined in the Plan, structured as follows:


Waste Prevention as a Priority: The first key priority area is Malta’s Waste Prevention Programme. The overall aim is to promote resource efficiency and entice waste generators to minimize their waste arisings by creating a conducive landscape. This Chapter proposes a range of measures to incentivise greener business processes and prompt societal change towards smarter consumption patterns. 

Waste Collection Reform: For waste which is unpreventable, efficient collection systems must be in place. The Waste Collection chapter outlines measures which balance the collection frequencies of different waste streams to encourage source separation and the minimization of residual waste. The chapter also sets out to reform waste collection services by moving towards a regionalised approach leading to increased economies of scale, and better utilization of a modern vehicle fleet thus optimising investment costs. 

Waste Management and Resource Optimisation: In order to support Malta’s transition to a more resource efficient and circular economy, we must ensure that any waste generated is efficiently and effectively treated in order to minimise its environmental footprint whilst maximising its potential as a resource. This will be achieved through:

1)     improving existing extended producer responsibility frameworks to establish a level playing field and to ensure that waste management costs are borne by producers. The feasibility of expanding EPR obligations to additional waste streams will be assessed; 

2)     implementing measures to incentivise waste prevention, harness source separation and reduce residual waste volumes from commercial entities and;

3)     investing in both new and existing waste management facilities to ensure a modern and efficient waste infrastructure that not only meets Malta’s current needs but will set in place the required treatment facilities for the future. Differentiated gate fees to reflect the true cost of the different fractions of waste and induce further waste separation will be considered.


In order to support the implementation of these initiatives, this Plan also puts forward a series of improvements to the monitoring, compliance and data management capabilities, largely based on strengthening capacity building including technological capacity. 

The Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning will collaborate with a range of stakeholders in order to foster a culture of resource efficiency, create new business opportunities, invest heavily in necessary infrastructure and support voluntary initiatives which promote the prevention and sustainable management of waste. We will engage with stakeholders, and collaborate across the public and private sectors to work together to make a difference and instill a culture of change that promotes waste prevention and sustainable waste management. New measures will include economic instruments, awareness-raising campaigns, new regulations, research and innovation and various other policy tools in order to incentivise waste prevention, source separation and correct management of waste generated on the Maltese Islands. The initiatives outlined in this Waste Management Plan will facilitate action by industry, government, citizens and tourists. This implies the need for a collaborative approach from all those who generate waste in their personal, professional or corporate capacity and the assumption of responsibility for the management thereof. The proposed measures are intended to steer Malta towards reaching its EU obligations, reduce dependency on landfilling and export of waste, and transition Malta to a more resource efficient and circular economy. This for the benefit of Maltese society as a whole.


In line with Article 31 of the Waste Regulations (S.L.549.63), the public is invited to make submissions with their comments in relation to the policy measures outlined in the Long Term Waste Management Plan 2021-2030.






Feedback must be submitted by email to by the 18 January 2021 at the latest.