Don’t take a holiday from waste management
The average Maltese resident generates 0.68kg per day while a tourist is likely to produce 1.25kg per day (NSO, 2009). Generating twice the amount per capita, the tourism and hospitality industry, while a major player in and contributor to the Maltese economy, is also a considerable waste generator.
A good number of 5 and 4 star hotels have taken onboard sustainable management practices. The ECO Certification Label administered by the Malta Tourism authority requires that:
- Waste is measured and mechanisms are in place to reduce it; where reduction is not feasible waste disposal has to be carried out through a licensed waste contractor.
- A waste separation and management scheme for recyclable wastes is in place (minimum of 3 of the following: glass, plastic, paper, metal, organic waste).
- Batteries and waste oils are recycled in accordance with current environmental legislation.
- The hotel is guaranteeing the final destination of goods with CFC or similar in accordance with current environmental legislation.
- A licensed waste contractor is used to dispose of hazardous waste.
- The hotel is minimising its use of disposed and consumable goods
This national scheme aimed at ensuring the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural sustainability of the hospitality industry in the Maltese Islands, was launched by the Malta Tourism Authority in 2002 and has been recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Third party audits are carried out every two years. For a full list of hotels which are eco-certified, visit http://www.mta.com.mt/eco-hotels.
Going the extra mile
Building on the practices which are mandatory for Eco Certification, the more keen operators are embarking on additional waste related initiatives. One hotel, for instance, separates its hazardous waste and compresses all cardboard in preparation for recycling and export. Water dispensers and waste separation receptacles are to be found everywhere, and are accessible by both employees and guests.
Another establishment which takes its responsibility as a producer of waste seriously has adopted minimizing waste as part of its mission statement. The hotel doesn’t stop at separating glass, paper, metal, plastic and batteries but provides waste separation containers for hazardous waste, organic waste and by products such as edible oil.
The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has also been very proactive in driving the philosophy that waste is to no-one’s benefit. Through its Environmental and Sustainability Sub-Committee it has spearheaded various initiatives over the years to bring together hotels and the sharing of best practices.
Such sustainable approaches are beneficial to all and should serve as inspiration for other entities to introduce better waste practices in their establishments. Green initiatives are recognized by various local and international bodies and can add a competitive edge to the product offering.
Do Your Bit
Whilst in Malta, make sure that you subscribe to the waste management policy of the hotel where you are staying.
If you have opted for self-catering accommodation, you can also contribute to saving recyclables from going to landfill by taking them out on the right day in the right bag. Keep the area in which you are residing clean by adhering to the local council’s waste collection schedule which may be found at www.dontwastewaste.gov.mt/calendar-map/
The Don’t Waste Waste campaign is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about good waste management practices. The Campaign shall be organizing seminars for hotels, citizens and businesses to get the message across that all can contribute towards achieving the country’s environmental targets. We are all part of the same chain, no matter what hat we are wearing: resident, tourist, businessman, employer, employee or student.
Your contribution will make a difference.