The MCCAA hosted a national workshop on the 5th of July in the framework of the ENgage project; titled ‘Standards Supporting Circular Economy Initiatives’.
The objective of the ENgage project is to engage more Standard Bodies and National Environmental organisations in the development of Standards as they have an important contribution to give to ensure that standards would not have a negative impact on the environment.
The workshop featured several key speakers:
In her welcome address, the MCCAA’s Chairperson, Inġ. Helga Pizzuto noted that the affiliations the Authority has in European and International Standard Bodies provide opportunities to public and private entities to participate in the development of standards in the best interest of Malta.
The message from Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli, Minister for Inclusion, Voluntary Organisations and Consumer Rights described how a circular economy has the potential to create new green jobs and change consumer buying patterns such as leasing products rather than buying them.
Hon. Miriam Dalli, Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise said that economic circularity is becoming a mainstream concept. Malta’s main influence lie in reusability, repairability, collecting and recycling. She mentioned the REUSE centre launched recently as an example.
Mr Marios Mavroyiannos, ENgage project leader provided an overview of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) funded project which started four years ago.
Ms Alessia Gaetani, Project Manager at CEN-CENELEC described how standards support environmental policies and the transition to a green and Circular Economy.
Mr Stefano Miceli from Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) provided an overview on the forthcoming National Strategy for the Environment 2050.
Mr Jason Vella from Circular Economy Malta stressed on the importance for a collaborative effort among all stakeholders to successfully achieve the much-needed transition towards a circular economy to achieve improved resource productivity and long product life.
Ms Pamela Tarif from Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) remarked that one of the important roles of ECOS is to influence the development of ambitious standards, legislation, and political strategies to promote the transition to a clean and circular economy that respects our planet.
Mr Daniel Tabone from WasteServ described the WasteServ’s current Circular Economy operations and its waste management plant until 2020. He described how the ISO certified Ecohive project will be transforming the mostly manual waste treatment facility into an automated solution.
Mr Gianmarco Santirocco from Friends of the Earth Malta described a proposed Life Project dealing with the creation of a circular regenerative economic system for energy production in Malta, that will integrate rooftop gardens with PV systems.
As an introduction to the panel discussion, Ms Pamela Tarif gave an overview of the state of affairs and key challenges in standardisation on the Circular Economy.
Ms Denise Grima Connel from ERA stated that the European Commission has set various targets to specific waste streams and various measures to reduce waste are being implemented.
Mr George Cutajar from MCCAA mentioned that the Authority provides a platform for stakeholders to participate in the development of standards at National, European and International level.
Mr Gianmarco Santirocco from FoEM shared his views on how environmental NGOs can give modern long-term environmental perspectives when developing standards.
Mr Marios Mavroyiannos from the Cypriot Standardisation Body described how organizing various webinars about standards is proving beneficial to engage relevant stakeholders.