Let’s go waste-free and plastic-free in Malta!

  • 19.June 2018
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Going waste-free is not simply a ‘trend’; it is a big environmental movement that aims to reduce the amount of waste produced in every household daily to zero. It really takes a small effort on your side and it does heaps of good for everyone!

Research shows that reducing, reusing and recycling actually creates way more jobs than simple disposal of items. Moreover, it’s great for the environment, not simply because it doesn’t pollute, but also because it takes much less energy (meaning pollution) to recycle than to create an object from raw materials.

Reducing waste is also great for the community. Billions of euros worth of food are wasted every year; a lot of money is also spent on cleaning, maintaining and sanitising our communal spaces, which can be used elsewhere.

You won’t do it overnight

It’s ok, we’re all human and to go waste-free takes time and effort. You’re amazing for reading about it—simply starting to seriously think about the issue is the biggest step.

Reducing waste is a process that requires you to adjusting your habits, and takes time and practice. But don’t forget that the biggest changes start small!

Are you in Malta? Do your part!

Let’s face it—statistics for waste management in Malta don’t look too good. In 2016, Malta generated the second highest amount of waste per person in the EU. Moreover, only 20,000 tonnes were recycled from 283,000 tonnes of waste generated—only 7% of waste generated in 2016!

Surprising, given the size, but not given the attitude. But everyone can help, including you.

So, what can you do? Here’s some tips!

Say NO!

Simply saying ‘no’ is the first step. You need to be considerate and start thinking of the most disposable and unnecessary plastic items—straws, cutlery, plastic bags, a million napkins. Do you really need them? No? So simply say no to them!

‘Clean’ bag it

Speaking of bags, get yourself a fabric or net bag and  say no to plastic bags. All it takes is simply remembering to bring the bag along for your shopping. What’s more, there are tons of ‘clean’ bags that are literally free, if you know where to look!

Plastic is not fantastic. Nope

Not using plastic bottles is quite difficult in Malta, seeing as we do not have drinking water available freely. But you can still do a great deal to reduce your plastics. Buy bigger bottles, if possible the biggest water dispenser on the market, and refill aluminium, glass or another long-term re-usable bottle.

Do you really need that plastic cutlery? Are you sure you can’t spend an extra 10c and buy the paper cups instead of the plastic ones? Plastic is everywhere; reducing it is surprisingly easy!

Reuse, Recycle, Upcycle. Repeat

Research how to dispose of items properly. Be mindful of items that can be recycled, donated or up-cycled. You can sell a lot of stuff too, like clothes, furniture, decorations or anything that might have a value for someone.

While going-zero waste is the dream, doing a couple of these things or just one, helps immensely.

 

 

Isaac Azzopardi
Post by Isaac Azzopardi

Isaac Azzopardi is a young artist living and working from the Mediterranean island of Malta. His practice uses notions of alchemy, materiality and colour through painting, installation and sculpture to explore the transformative elements of contemporary urban life.

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