Tuesday 23 July 2024

GreenPak strives to avoid price hikes on consumers

Following a well-attended meeting between GreenPak Coop and the private businesses it represents, the Cooperative Society calls on government to prevent unnecessary increases in the cost of living, this following Wasteserv’s series of unilateral actions taken against the Coop. 

Trading companies have obligations to recycle certain post-consumer products, such as packaging, electrical appliances and batteries. In practice, companies transfer such individual responsibilities by being part of GreenPak. In turn, GreenPak organises separate waste collections including door-to-door collections from across Malta and Gozo. 

Most of the materials collected by GreenPak are sent to Wasteserv, a state-owned waste operator, who sends the material for recycling abroad. Annually, GreenPak delivers some 25,000 tonnes of plastics, cardboard, metal and glass for which Wasteserv pays a contractual fee per tonne delivered. Throughout 2021 Wasteserv has withheld payments due to GreenPak with Wasteserv claiming that the public is placing too many items in the collection system which are not suitable for recycling, and this despite the huge national “Sort-it-out” campaign. On the other hand, GreenPak contends that it should not be the one to be penalised for the public’s behaviour – it is government’s sole responsibility to properly enforce law and order and take action against who is abusing the system. GreenPak, or indeed law-abiding citizens, should not be coerced by the authorities to pay for offenders.

The current standoff has interrupted GreenPak’s cash flow and had to delay paying waste collectors. GreenPak hopes that common sense prevails in the ongoing negotiations, failing which it will turn onto local importers and manufactures of consumer goods to finance Wasteserv’s failure to honour its contractual obligations with GreenPak, a dispute which is currently lodged in court. Any price increases on businesses will be passed onto consumers, directly impacting the cost of living. 

GreenPak believes that no price hikes are necessary and calls for a collective effort by all stakeholders, including political, administrative, the industry and consumers to work closer together for the common good. 

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