Waste management expert and GreenPak CEO Mario Schembri has been asked by Chile on behalf of the not-for-profit organisation EXPRA (Extended Responsibility Alliance) to assist the country with the implementation of new recycling regulations that are already in operation in Malta.
The regulation, known as Extended Producer Responsibility, obligates companies to set up and finance the collection of post-consumer waste. Packaging waste and tyres are the priority waste streams in Chile.
Speaking at a conference in Santiago, Chile, specifically focused on the new laws, Mr Schembri stressed the importance of setting ambitious targets for producer responsibility coupled with establishing “an appropriate infrastructure for the separation and subsequent safe disposal or reuse of recyclable materials”.
Chile is on course to introduce new recycling laws for six priority products (packaging, tyres, batteries, lubricating oils, electrical and electronic items) but is seeking to learn from the European experience especially with regard to management systems and recovery.
In Malta, recycling cooperative GreenPak has extensive experience in this field and is responsible for collecting thousands of tonnes of packaging, waste electrical goods and batteries put on the Maltese market by over 1,200 companies, while Mr Schembri – who is also a director of EXPRA, the largest association of non-profit management systems in the EU – has more than 18 years’ experience promoting Extended Producer Responsibility among entrepreneurs, legislators, government regulators and the public.
The GreenPak CEO said he was delighted to be involved in the introduction of the first legislation of this kind in South America.
Mr Schembri said: “Without doubt, this law will help to increase recycling as it is a fundamental tool to guarantee the continuous financing of recyclable products from homes at the lowest possible cost.”
In Malta, GreenPak has been instrumental in bringing together various economic operators to finance the collection and recycling of consumer waste with very positive results, confirmed recently in parliament by Environment Minister Herrera saying that the country is now on-track with the EU packaging waste targets.
Mr Schembri believes that with the right approach, Chile can also succeed in its quest to recycle high volumes of consumer waste and be a leader in the South American continent.