Plastic bottles: 10c Per Bottle – All You Need To Know About Malta’s Machines


Statiegeld op de plastic flessen in Malta. Ok het is maar 10 cent, maar toch!

Statiegeld op de plastic flessen in Malta
Statiegeld op de plastic flessen in Malta

You are able to earn some money by recycling plastic, metal and glass bottles, with hundreds of reverse vending machines open across Malta. 

While the price of many beverages, including water, did rise by 10c per bottle, you will be able to get this money back if you recycle it, with the scheme incentivizing the public not to litter in the first place and people to pick up littered bottles they may spot. 

This is how the scheme works:

BCRS Malta Ltd, a private company set up by the associations for beverage producers, importers and retailers, opened 320 light green reverse vending machines across Malta and Gozo.

A full map showing the machines' exact locations can be found on their website but around 60% of them have been installed in supermarkets and retail outlets, after studies showed the rate of bottle collection is higher at places where bottles are sold.

The machine accepts several types of plastic, metal and glass bottles, including still, sparkling and flavoured water, soft drinks, beers, ciders and dilutables. Wines, spirits, juices and milk cartons won't be accepted.

It's important to keep the label on when depositing the bottle as the machines will scan the bar code and check it against a database of bottles that have entered the Maltese market. This is intended to safeguard against abuse, such as people placing bottle-shaped items into the machine.

The machine will also check the shape of the bottle, so while a few dents are acceptable, it will reject crushed bottles. It is encouraged, but not mandatory, to keep the cap on the bottle when depositing it.

Once the machine has accepted the bottle, it will give you two options – keep the 10c receipt for yourself or donate it to charity. Initially, you will only be able to donate to the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation as part of its L-Istrina campaign but more charities are expected to be added to the list later.

Bottles can be deposited individually or in bulk; if, for example, you deposit 20 bottles at once, you will receive a receipt for €2.

If you choose to keep the money, you will be able to redeem it when shopping at a supermarket, grocery or retail outlet that sells beverages, and the discount will be marked on the receipt.

While you won't be able to exchange a bottle receipt for cash, the receipts can be redeemed against any purchased items – not only beverages.

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