The production and distribution of single-use plastic has been prohibited within Malta as of January 2021, in collaboration with the long environmental and sustainability development targets established within Malta’s budget for 2021. Furthermore, in the beginning of January 2022, the selling of such plastic products will be prohibited.
To this end, the Malta Enterprise Corporation (MEC) has recently introduced an incentive scheme to encourage retailers, and other businesses within the retail value chain, to invest in in-store eco-friendly solutions that allow for the selling of goods within reusable containers, as well as other investments necessary to implement and promote the reduction of single-use plastic packaging in the retail sector.
By virtue of the fact that this Scheme is a de minimis measure, all other de minimis measures used by a single enterprise over a three-year period should also be evaluated. This scheme is open to any limited liability business, partnership, or self-employed person operating in the wholesale or retail of foodstuffs, detergents, toiletries, and other bulk items sold to the final customer. The applicant must have at least one full-time employee and no unpaid income tax, VAT, or social security payments that are more than 12 months old. This scheme encourages investments in solutions that allow things to be sold to affected customers in bulk and/or in reusable containers. Approved investments must be executed within 12 months of the MEC’s authorisation, and they must be kept for at least three years. Any charges incurred prior to the MEC’s approval will not be deemed eligible.
The eligible costs include the following four areas:
– Dispensing Equipment : Expenses incurred on investments that lead to effective manually operated or automated dispensing / refillery solutions that enable end users to buy things in bulk and keep them in reusable containers.
– Rental of Retail Space : New bulk dispensing technologies are projected to take up more space as they are implemented. For a period of up to one year, the costs accumulated by a business for renting space from a non-related party to house the dispensing equipment are regarded as an eligible cost. One-time charges, such as start-up fees levied by the lessor are not admissible under this Scheme, and only costs spanning a defined time period are considered eligible, such as a monthly fee.
– Provision of Reusable Containers : Costs associated with providing customers with reusable containers may be deemed eligible if:
– Costs Incurred to Ensure Cleanliness and Sanitisation: Equipment expenses for collecting, cleaning, and sanitisation of reusable containers are admissible under this Scheme to the degree that they are expended in accordance with policies and procedures that guarantee quality and cleanliness.
– Application Process By November 30th of 2021, interested parties must submit an application form electronically using the MEC’s client portal. The application should provide full details of the investments made, the targets that will be accomplished as a result of those investments, and the expenditures that will be generated. Supporting evidence, such as quotations, should be provided to substantiate the costs projected to be incurred.
Author: Maila Cimino