Plastic waste generated in Malta doubles within just one year

The total generation of plastic waste in 2016, excluding plastic disposed of together with other materials, totalled 8,714 tonnes, an increase of 108.2% over 2015

Malta’s generation of plastic waste has doubled within just one year. The total generation of plastic waste in 2016, excluding plastic disposed of together with other materials, totalled 8,714 tonnes, an increase of 108.2% over 2015.

The data was published by the National Statistics Office on World Environment Day in line with the United Nations’ theme “Beat plastic pollution. If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.”

Generated plastic waste has been increasing gradually since 2010, but only in 2016 did it double in generation.

Of the total weight, 7,876 tonnes was recycled while 38.6 tonnes of plastic was landfilled.

Separate collection of plastics from households has risen steadily from just 1,000 tonnes in 2010, reaching 4,934 tonnes in 2016 thanks to the grey and green separation bags, which in 2016 had an estimated plastic content of 4,272 tonnes – an increase of 16% over 2015.

 In 2016 Malta’s total generation of non-mineral waste increased by 31.8 per cent over 2015, reaching a total of 1.3 tonnes per capita. There was a threefold increase in hazardous waste over 2015, resulting from the disposal of oil drilling vessels. On the other hand, non-hazardous waste increased by 13.2 per cent and amounted to almost one tonne per person.

Data from the Planning Authority also shows that land development has been on a steady increase in 1990, with a total of 103.8 kilometres squared of land area affected by development in 2015. There were 59.3 sq.km of developed land inside building zones, and 40.9 sq.km of developed land outside development zones.

As for water production, from 2005 to 2017 an average of 44% of the public water supply originated from ground water while the rest came through desalination. Provisional data suggests water abstraction from ground water supplies increased by ½% over 2016, reaching 70.6 cubic metres per person.

In 2017, almost 25 million cb.m of urban wastewater was generated, of which 634,342 cb.m underwent treatment for reuse for irrigation. 97% however was treated for pollution removal and discharged into the sea.

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