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Beverage Container Refund Scheme – FAQs

We have news for you!

A new nation-wide initiative on the purchase of single-use beverage containers is coming into effect to help reduce our collective footprint on the environment, and we want all our clients to be prepared.

With the new Beverage Container Refund Scheme (BCRS), whenever you buy a single-use beverage container (like a plastic water bottle or a soft-drink can) you will be charged an additional deposit of €0.10 on top of the product cost. But this will refunded to you in full when you return the empty container to us, the next time you visit Welbee’s.

All you have to do is return your used containers once you are done with them, so you can get your €0.10 deposit back. It’s that simple!

Here’s a quick recap of the steps you will need to follow from now on:

  1. Shop at Welbee’s and buy your favourite products as usual.
  2. Pay at the check-out and remember that you will be charged an extra €0.10 on every single-use beverage container that you buy.
  3. Once you have finished using your beverage containers, deposit these into any Reverse Vending Machine (RVM)installed in Malta and/or Gozo. Don’t forget to collect the deposit receipt voucher from the RVM! This will have a barcode and the refund amount printed on it.
  4. Redeem the receipt voucher at cash point on your next purchase by presenting it to the cashier, who will then scan the barcode and deduct the refund amount from the total amount of your bill.

Single-use beverage containers are made of these materials:

  • Plastic (Polyethylene terephthalate – PET)
  • Metal (steel and aluminium)
  • Glass (clear and non-clear)

These are the beverages that form part of the scheme:

  • Water and flavoured water
  • Non-carbonated soft drinks
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Ciders, beers and other malt beverages
  • Ready-to-drink coffee
  • Flavoured alcoholic beverages with an alcoholic content level not exceeding 5%

Why is this happening?

The BCRS scheme was launched as part of a wider national effort to increase recycling and reduce litter. It is a reminder that we are all responsible for our single-use beverage container waste, so introducing a refundable deposit on our purchases will give us all further incentive to dispose of it correctly. This is how a circular economy system works to help protect the environment.

Thanks to this initiative, all returned containers will be collected centrally at the new beverage container recycling plant at the BCRS Malta’s Clearing Centre in Hal Far.

At Welbee’s, we know that the change is going to happen, whether we like it or not. So, we are committed to making it as easy as possible for our clients to adapt, while still enjoying the products they love and having a reduced impact on the environment.

We think that sounds fair and the new scheme couldn’t be simpler. Let’s all do our part for the sake of our collective environment!

Shop Welbee’s, protect the planet!

If you have further questions please see below

WHEN DOES THE SCHEME COME INTO EFFECT?

The scheme will come into effect soon.

HOW WILL THE €0.10 CHARGE BE REFUNDED TO ME?

In order to get your refund, you must first deposit your single-use beverage containers at one of the Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) installed in all our stores. The RVM will print out a deposit receipt voucher with a barcode and the amount to be refunded (e.g. €0.10 if you deposited one container, €0.60 if you deposited six containers, etc). You can then carry on with your shopping and, once you are ready to pay, present the receipt voucher at cash point. The cashier will then redeem it as a discount on your purchase by scanning the barcode and deducting the refund amount from the total amount of your bill.

IS THE €0.10 DEPOSIT GOING TO BE CHARGED ON EACH CONTAINER INDIVIDUALLY, EVEN IF I BUY THEM IN A PACK?

Yes. You will be charged €0.10 if you purchase one container, €0.40 if you purchase four, €0.60 if you purchase six, etc. Please note that you will be refunded the full amount that you are charged if you return the containers.

WHAT IF I USUALLY SHOP BY DELIVERY? WILL I STILL NEED TO COME TO THE SUPERMARKET PHYSICALLY TO RETURN THE CONTAINERS AND GET MY REFUND?

Beverage containers may be returned to any Reverse Vending Machine installed in Malta and/or Gozo. However, vouchers issued from an RVM installed at any Welbee’s store, are only redeemable from the Welbee’s store from where the same voucher was issued.

CAN I RETURN CONTAINERS THAT WERE NOT PURCHASED AT A WELBEE’S OUTLET AND THAT I BOUGHT FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE?

Yes, you can. Any beverage container which is in scope of the scheme, which has been purchased from any outlet in Malta and/or Gozo, may be returned and will be accepted by any Reverse Vending Machine situated in Malta and/or Gozo, including those at Welbee’s.

AFTER I BUY A CONTAINER, IS THERE A TIMEFRAME WITHIN WHICH I NEED TO RETURN THE CONTAINER FOR ME TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE REFUND?

Yes, in order to be eligible for a refund, the beverage container will need to be returned not later than twenty-four (24) months from date of purchase. (Art. 16.(1)(e) of L.N. 311 of 2020)

AFTER I RETURN A CONTAINER AND DEPOSIT IT INTO A REVERSE VENDING MACHINE (RVM), IS THERE A TIMEFRAME WITHIN WHICH I MUST REDEEM THE DEPOSIT RECEIPT (FROM THE RVM) AT CASH POINT, IN ORDER FOR ME TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE REFUND?

Yes, you must present the deposit voucher within twelve (12) months from date of issue from the RVM in order for it to be eligible for redemption (so that you can receive your refund).
(Art. 16.(2) of L.N. 311 of 2020) The expiry date is printed on every voucher.

DO THE RETURNED CONTAINERS NEED TO BE IN THE SAME CONDITION AS WHEN I BOUGHT THEM? WILL I STILL GET MY REFUND IF A CONTAINER IS SQUASHED, BROKEN, OR IF PART OF IT IS MISSING (E.G. A BOTTLE CAP)?

Beverage containers must be returned empty and in good condition with a clearly readable barcode on the label. Squashed or broken containers, or containers without a clear barcode will not be accepted by the Reverse Vending Machines. Bottle tops and caps are not required, however we encourage that the container is returned with the cap on to maximise recycling.

WHICH BEVERAGE CONTAINERS ARE PART OF THIS SCHEME?

The containers that fall under this scheme are single-use, non-refillable beverage containers with a capacity of 0.1–3 litres, and are made of the following materials:

  • Plastic (Polyethylene terephthalate – PET)
  • Metal (steel and aluminium)
  • Glass (clear and non-clear)

The below beverage containers/materials will not be accepted by Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs):

  • Refillable containers
  • Carton
  • HDPE
  • Beverages in pouch containers

You can see which beverage containers will be accepted and which won’t in the image below:

 

WHICH BEVERAGES FORM PART OF THE SCHEME?
  • Water and flavoured water
  • Non-carbonated soft drinks
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Ciders, beers and other malt beverages
  • Ready-to-drink coffee
  • Flavoured alcoholic beverages with an alcoholic content level not exceeding 5%

You can see which beverages will be accepted and which won’t in the image below:

 

Containers with the below beverages will not be accepted by RVMs:

  • Dairy
  • Juice
  • Wines and Spirits
WHY IS IT JUST BEVERAGES THAT ARE INCLUDED IN THIS SCHEME?

The BCRS has been jointly set up by the Malta Beverage Producers Association, the Malta Beverage Importers Association and the Malta Beverage Retailers Association. With the introduction of this scheme, these three associations are amping up their responsibility – as producers and retailers of beverages – for beverage container recycling on the Maltese Islands.

This scheme targets beverages in particular because these are consumed in great quantities and far more promptly and quickly than any other product, ultimately accounting for a significant share of single-use waste. Moreover, beverages are often enjoyed outdoors and on-the-go, and so, often end up in the wrong bin or as litter in public places.