The pioneering Zero Waste Future programled by AKTI Project & Research Centre and funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, aims to create a framework for Zero Waste Cities & Zero Waste Campuses in Malta.This project addresses the serious issue of land and marine litter through a waste characterization study, on the go recycling, educational campaigns in schools and the setup of a mobile zero waste stall that will engage citizens through an information campaign about the importance of disposing and recycling waste in a responsible manner.
The Zero Waste Future program is a true "golden triangle" program, involving and engaging local authorities, environmental NGOs and businesses. This ambitious plan of action aims to accelerate the behavioural change required to make the circular economy and recycling part of people's hearts, minds and everyday routines.
Following a preliminary assessment, Birgu was identified as Malta’s first potential zero waste city. The Zero Waste Future program kicked-off in September with an ongoing characterization study of waste generated by Birgu’s households and businesses.
This waste characterisation study is the first of its kind in Malta and is being carried out by AKTI, a Cypriot NGO specialising in waste separation and funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation. Preliminary results from this project show that most households in Birgu are separating waste correctly while on the other hand, most commercial establishments in the same locality are still not separating waste.
The Chairperson of AKTI, Eng. Xenia Loizidou explained “We selected Birgu to do the first waste characterization that was ever done in Malta… As for the results of inspections done in the waste of households we are really impressed. The households of Birgu are really recycling well, and we are hopeful that the upcoming waste characterisation will continue to confirm this trend.
Birgu Mayor John Boxall said he was very satisfied with the waste separation results in his locality. However, taking heed of the study’s results, Mr Boxall stressed the need for action so that even business owners understand the importance of the civic duty that is waste separation and recycling. Mr Boxall said “the notable efforts of households are being counteracted by the lack of similar legislation for businesses. This situation needs to be rectified sooner rather than later.”
Mr. Stephen Bonnici, HR & PAC Manager at GSD Marketing Ltd., local bottlers of The Coca-Cola Company said that “This project is another important investment by the Coca-Cola Foundation in Malta. The approach of this project is a holistic one and is composed of a research aspect through the waste characterisation, an intervention aspect through the installation of on-the-go recycling bins and frequent clean-ups, and an educational element which will be carried out by Nature Trust in Malta’s primary and secondary schools.”
The Zero Waste Future program will also be working towards the establishment of Malta’s first ‘Zero Waste Campus’ through numerous initiative to reduce waste and increase recycling on the MCAST main campus.
Besides the ongoing studies in Birgu, the Zero Waste Future program will be present at Science in the City being held in Valletta on the 27th of September. Be sure to visit the stand to learn more about how you can contribute to a zero-waste future for the benefit of all present and future generations.