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MEP Metsola calls on the public to do their bit and “join the war on plastic”

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MEP Metsola calls on the public to do their bit and "join the war on plastic"MEP for Malta and Gozo Roberta Metsola, has called on the public to do their bit and “join the war on plastic.”

Speaking a public dialogue organised by the European Parliament Office in Malta, MEP Metsola said “single-use plastics are clogging our seas, killing our marine life and causing irreparable damage to Malta and Gozo’s natural environment.”

The MEP has made the protection of the environment central to her work as a representative of Malta and Gozo in the European Parliament and hailed the EU wide-ban on single-use plastic products like non-biodegradable straws and polystyrene cups that will finally come into force by 2021.

She remarked that “worrying statistics show us that close to 75% of the marine litter in the world’s oceans is plastic. Malta and Gozo are no different.

“Most of it is single-use, unbiodegradable, plastic that remains in our eco-systems for centuries, harming our health, choking our fish and throttling our turtles,” stated MEP Metsola. “It simply cannot continue at the current rate. It is time for change – and it’s not only plastics, it’s our entire waste management system that needs updating and enforcing.”

“Changing the way we deal with waste and the way we devour harmful, instantly-throw away goods is not easy. Nor is it something that can be changed overnight. But there are a few simple steps that we can all take to reduce the impact on our environment,” said the MEP. “The first, and one of the most problematic, is limiting or eliminating our inexplicable love affair with single-use plastic containers and packaging.”

MEP Metsola pointed out that “the impact of small decisions can be enormous. Imagine if instead of the usual plastic bags we still see everywhere, we use boxes or cloth; or if we stopped purchasing products covered in excessive, unnecessary, plastic packaging; or if instead of throwing away a coffee cup every time we have a hot drink we use re-usable flasks; if instead of the usual plastic straws we give our children paper straws or ones made out of bamboo; if instead of plastic confetti during our festas we go back to using paper. My point is that minuscule – almost unnoticeable – differences in our lifestyles could make a massive difference.”

MEP Metsola underlining that everyone has a role to play, said “European level legislation is crucial, but the situation in Malta and Gozo means that we should not and cannot wait. We can go further than EU law and implement other additional models that work in our local context. Over the last decades we have managed to transform Malta.”

“We’ve become the financial services Island, the online gaming island, the tourism island, the maritime law islands and now the blockchain island.” The MEP asked, is it not time to become the Mediterranean’s first island free from single-use plastics?”

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