Client: Ministry for Sustainable Development, Environment, and Climate Change
The waste management hierarchy minimises environmental impact and favours sustainability through waste prevention (waste minimization) and least favours the untreated disposal of waste (landfilling). The National Waste Management Plan (NWMP) provides a framework for waste management on a national scale covering the period from 2014 to 2020. It also defines how Malta can achieve sustainable waste management by preventing and properly handling waste.
Across all sectors, waste should be reduced and reused as much as possible. Reusing it as a raw material for new products would lower the pressure on our finite landfill space, while at the same time reducing the demand for new raw materials. When reuse is not possible, the material should be recycled to further reduce landfilling rates.
The Ministry for Sustainable Development, Environment, and Climate Change (MSDEC) commissioned AIS to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the National Waste Management Plan (NWMP) covering the period from 2014-2020, to evaluate the environmental effects of the plan. The SEA was carried out in line with the Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations (S.L.549.61).
An SEA allows for the incorporation of environmental considerations at the earliest stages of the formulation of the plan. Hence, the SEA on the NWMP helped understand the development context of the strategy being assessed, identified problems and potential solutions to the impacts, as well as addressed key trends, and assessed environmental and sustainable viable options.
AIS Environment delivered an SEA Scoping Report and Environmental Report on the National Waste Management Plan (2014 to 2020). The Scoping Report set out the context for the assessment & methodology, which we discussed with the client and the authorities.
An Environmental Report included:
- A description of the policy and other legislative frameworks
- A description of the existing national environmental conditions such as;
- Air Quality
- Climate Change
- Marine and Coastal Environment
- Land uses
- A description of the NWMP’s possible environmental impacts
- Recommendations that could reduce the NWMP’s environmental impacts
AIS also handled all consultations with the SEA Focal Point, stakeholders, and the public on behalf of the client.
The SEA suggested several recommendations to minimise the strategy's environmental impact on the NWMP. Such recommendations aimed at promoting waste prevention and minimization.
- To put together a strategic direction to appropriately prepare discarded materials for re-use, recycling, and other waste recovery treatments.
- To mitigate the impacts on air quality, water resources, and land contamination by following rigorous conditions of waste management facilities.
- To incorporate commercial and industrial waste within the municipal waste collection system. This would eliminate the need to create another redundant system, reduce resource efficiency and reduce the impacts on air quality and transport.
- To research innovative product designs for ways how to reuse and incentivise Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste.
- To consider that disposing of waste at sea should only be done in the case of inert C&D waste.
- To implement a more environmental-friendly approach to C&D waste management by using this inert material to restore spent quarries.
- To re-use, recycle or recover non-hazardous waste rather than disposing of it at sea.