Frequently Asked Questions

The Beverage Container Refund Scheme and the related Deposit Refund System will be commencing on the 14th November 2022.

BCRS Malta Ltd is the licensed operator of the Scheme. The not-for-profit private operator, which is owned by the Malta Beverage Producers Association, The Malta Beverage Importers Association and the Malta Beverage Retailers Association, will be effectively closing the life cycle of single-use beverage bottles and cans made of plastic, metal and glass based on Circular Economy principles, in line with National and EU environmental commitments.

From the onset, the mindset of BCRS Malta has been to transform a challenge into an opportunity. With this in mind, BCRS Malta Ltd has made a private investment of almost €18 million in this project including the construction of Malta’s first privately funded Clearing Centre and Sorting Plant dedicated to beverage container waste. In addition, all BCRS Malta Reverse Vending Machines are state-of-the-art engineered with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology allowing the operator to continuously monitor the wider infrastructure which underpins the scheme’s operation.

The aim of BCRS Malta as operator is primarily the ease-of-access to consumers via a tech-driven approach. The public is encouraged to make use of this scheme to ensure Malta moves towards reaching a more sustainable way of living for everyone on the islands.

The Beverage Container Refund Scheme will revolutionise the way we dispose of our empty single-use beverage containers.

BCRS in fact aims to collect and recycle up to 90% of all single-use beverage containers in scope of the scheme placed on the Maltese market by 2026. This will sersiously contribute towards the country’s enviromental targets and well-being, effectively closing the life cycle of single-use beverage bottles and cans made of plastic, metal and glass based on Circular Economy principles, in line with National and EU environmental commitments.

Once the scheme starts, a deposit of €0.10c will be added to the price of the beverages in scope of the scheme at the point of purchase. The deposit will be charged by Producers and Importers to retailers and catering establishments at wholesale stage who subsequently will transfer it onto the consumer. The deposit collected by producers and importers is transferred to BCRS Malta and consumers can then get the full refund of their deposits by returning the empty beverage container to one of over 300 BCRS Reverse Vending Machines installed across supermarkets and major beverage retail outlets, and within Public Recycling Hubs around Malta and Gozo. A full refund of the deposit shall be returned to consumers by means of a voucher issued by the Reverse Vending Machines to be deducted against the bill at a retail shop where beverages are sold.

Beverage Containers are more likely to be consumed on the go, hence are more likely to be littered or thrown away in mixed waste.

Beverages tend to be consumed quickly and soon after they are purchased, thus making up a big portion of single-use waste.

Deposit Refund Systems are already implemented 12 countries around Europe and another 10 countries are legislating or planning to start in the coming months. It is through the experiences of these countries that Government chose what beverages are in scope or out of scope of the Maltese Beverage Container Refund Scheme.

The beverages that form part of the Scheme include:

  • water and flavoured water;
  • non-carbonated soft drinks;
  • carbonated soft drinks;
  • ciders, beers and other malt beverages;
  • ready to drink coffee;
  • flavoured alcoholic beverages having an alcoholic content level which does not exceed 5%; and
  • dilutables.

A list of registered products as at 10/11/2022 may be downloaded through the following link:
Product List 23rd November 2022

The following beverages are out-of-scope of the Scheme:

  • Beverages in refillable containers
  • Dairy
  • Juice and Nectars
  • Wines and Spirits
  • Beverages in Carton, HDPE or Pouches

Single-use, non-refillable beverage containers in ALUMNIUM or STEEL CANS, GLASS and PET (plastic) BOTTLES, with a capacity of between 0.1 litres and 3 litres, form part of the beverage container refund scheme.

Immediately prior to the Scheme going Live, the BCRS Malta website shall have an easy-to-use function whereby any user may enter the barcode of any particular beverage product and will be advised whether that product is part of the Beverage Container Refund Scheme.

Once the scheme starts, every single-use beverage container in scope shall be subject to a deposit payment of €0.10c at the point of purchase. Upon return of the single-use beverage container at a Reverse Vending Machine or a designated redemption location, the consumer shall be entitled to a refund in full of the €0.10c deposit that had been paid, making the introduction of the Scheme cost neutral to the consumer.

The €0.10c deposit is not subject to VAT.


Once the scheme starts, outlets selling beverages are obliged by law to

  1. All customer receipts or invoices shall contain a summary of the total refundable deposit value being charged within such purchase at the end of the receipt or invoice as a separate line item labelled as 'BCRS Refundable deposit' (for POS systems) or ‘BCRS Ref. Dep.’ (for Cash registers).
  1. The Businesses’ BCRS Registration Number is to be made clearly visible on all invoices and fiscal receipts.

  2. In the price indication for the beverage on shelves, indicate:
    • the total price for the beverage inclusive of the €0.10c refundable deposit
    • the amount of deposit which has to be paid by the consumer separately clearly labelled 'BCRS Refundable Deposit'.

ie.: Price + BCRS Refundable Deposit = Final Price
€1.00 + €0.10c BCRS Refundable Deposit = €1.10c

Consumers can then get the full €0.10c refund of their deposits by returning the empty beverage container to one of over 300 BCRS Reverse Vending Machines installed across supermarkets and major beverage retail outlets, and within Public Recycling Hubs around Malta and Gozo or to a designated redemption location. A full refund of the deposit shall be returned to consumers by means of a voucher issued by the Reverse Vending Machines to be deducted against the bill at a retail shop where beverages are sold.

The beverage container needs to be returned empty and in good condition, with its shape still intact and barcode clearly readable, ideally with the cap on to maximise recycling.

When recycling used beverage containers, keep in mind that vouchers issued from Reverse Vending Machines at supermarkets can only be redeemed against the bill of that same supermarket or its chains of outlets. Alternatively, in the case of vouchers issued from Reverse Vending Machines from Public Recycling Hubs found in your localities, the voucher can be redeemed against the bill at any retail outlet in Malta and Gozo where beverages are sold.

Businesses registered with BCRS Malta can return the containers to BCRS, either through one of the Public Recycling Hubs across Malta and Gozo using a redemption card service issued by BCRS, or through a collection service using special bags and sealing devices provided by BCRS. The use of RVMs is however encouraged as it greatly reduces risk and increases efficiency.

In the case of restaurants with on-premises consumption, initially the collection service will provide one free weekly collection up to a maximum of 5 bags. Otherwise, the service will provide one free monthly collection up to a maximum of 25 bags. Beyond that, if the business wants more frequent collection, this can be organised at a cost using an online booking system.

Bottles and Cans made of PET, Aluminium and Glass will be collected, containing water, soft drinks, beer, ciders and flavoured beverages. Wines, spirits, juices and dairy products will not be collected by the scheme.

The beverage container needs to be returned empty and in good condition, with its shape still intact and barcode clearly readable, ideally with the cap on to maximise recycling.

More information on the collection service and/or the card service can be requested on info@bcrsmalta.mt jew il BCRS helpline 9909 9955

Over 300 reverse vending machines are being installed across supermarkets, major beverage retail outlets and within Public Recycling Hubs around all of Malta and Gozo.

Immediately prior to the Scheme going Live, the BCRS website shall host an interactive map showing all locations of RVMs around the Maltese islands.

The most important things to ensure to get your deposit back is to take care that the beverage container being returned to a reverse vending machine is:

  • In scope of the scheme
  • not crushed, with shape grossly intact.
  • the barcode on the label is clearly visible.

Needless to say, the container should be empty and where applicable with the cap on to maximise the recycling.

If you insert a bottle that is not in scope of the scheme, like wine, spirits milk or juices, the machine will reject the bottle and return it to you. Only bottles in scope of the scheme are accepted by reverse vending machines and this includes water, soft drinks, energy drinks, beer, cider, dilutables and flavoured drinks. Reverse Vending Machines will not accept wines and spirits, Dairy, Juices and beverages in carton or pouches.


Also you should ensure that the container is

  • not crushed, with shape grossly intact.
  • the barcode on the label is clearly visible.

The containers that can be recycled are bottles and cans made of plastic, metal and glass. The reverse vending machines are clearly labelled with the materials that you need to place and in which machines. The reverse vending machine also recognises if the wrong material is inserted and will return the container to you to insert it in the correct machine.

Used beverage containers collected by Reverse Vending Machines, many of which are currently discarded not so responsibly in landfills, countryside, and seaside, instead will arrive at the purposely built BCRS Clearing Centre in Hal Far where they will be sorted according to material type using specialised equipment and packed efficiently to be exported for recycling. This process will effectively close the circular-economy loop whereby our waste will become once again a resource for future use, in the process greatly reducing littering and improving our environment.

The BCRS Clearing Centre is a purposely designed building, with all environmental permits from the Environmental Resource Agency (ERA) and has no emissions or discharges impacting its environment. Additionally, the building was built using environmentally friendly materials such as a wooden roof, insulated panels and aluminium and glass apertures, with a carbon footprint significantly smaller than the concrete structures typically produced in Malta, which building is designed to continue to evolve into operating with a “net zero” energy footprint as the operation of the scheme evolves.

  1. Register your entity with BCRS Malta on the online portal bcrsmalta.mt

A one-time €100 + VAT fee applies

  1. Register FREE of charge, all the product barcodes that you are placing on the market.

Reverse Vending Machines shall only accept empty beverage container returns which have a registered barcode in the BCRS Malta database

  1. Supply one empty sample to BCRS Malta for every registered product barcode.

Container is scanned and weighed by BCRS specialised equipment.

Reverse Vending Machines shall only accept beverage container returns with a recognised shape and weight within the database in order to counter fraud.

  1. Once scheme starts, charge a €0.10c deposit on every single used beverage container sold that is in scope of the scheme.

The deposit value shall not be subject to VAT and shall be indicated separately from the price on all receipts and invoices at every stage of the supply chain.

  1. Once the scheme starts, all customer receipts or invoices shall contain a summary of the total refundable deposit value being charged within such purchase at the end of the receipt or invoice as a separate line item labelled as 'BCRS Refundable deposit' (for POS systems) or ‘BCRS Ref. Dep.’ (for Cash registers) and may be governed by the letter ‘M’.

The major Point of Sale suppliers in Malta have upgraded their software in line with the above, so if these upgrades have not yet been included in your POS kindly contact your POS supplier immediately.

In case of difficulty with your POS or Cash Registers, kindly contact BCRS on +356 9909 9955 to enable BCRS to provide the necessary guidance as may be required.

  1. Your Businesses’ BCRS Registration Number is to be made clearly visible on all invoices and fiscal receipts.
  2. Product Placement Reporting. Once the scheme starts, Producers and Importers have a legal obligation to report with BCRS Malta Ltd the quantities of each registered beverage container placed on the market the preceding month, through their user account on the BCRS portal, which will trigger the payment of the €0.10c Deposit and Administration Fees chargeable for the quantities of each registered beverage container placed on the market the preceding month.

The deadline by when importers and producers must submit their product placement report, for the preceding month, is the 9th day of each month.

More information can be requested on info@bcrsmalta.mt or call BCRS Malta Ltd on the BCRS helpline +356 9909 9955

  1. Register your entity with BCRS Malta on the online portal bcrsmalta.mt

A one-time €50 + VAT fee applies

  1. Once scheme starts, charge a €0.10c deposit on every single used beverage container sold that is in scope of the scheme.

The deposit value shall not be subject to VAT and shall be indicated separately from the price on all receipts and invoices at every stage of the supply chain.

  1. Once the scheme starts, all customer receipts or invoices shall contain a summary of the total refundable deposit value being charged within such purchase at the end of the receipt or invoice as a separate line item labelled as 'BCRS Refundable deposit' (for POS systems) or ‘BCRS Ref. Dep.’ (for Cash registers) and may be governed by the letter ‘M’.

The major Point of Sale suppliers in Malta have upgraded their software in line with the above, so if these upgrades have not yet been included in your POS kindly contact your POS supplier immediately.

In case of difficulty with your POS or Cash Registers, kindly contact BCRS on +356 9909 9955 to enable BCRS to provide the necessary guidance as may be required.

  1. Your Businesses’ BCRS Registration Number is to be made clearly visible on all invoices and fiscal receipts.

More information can be requested on info@bcrsmalta.mt or call BCRS Malta Ltd on the BCRS helpline +356 9909 9955.

  1. Register your entity with BCRS Malta on the online portal bcrsmalta.mt

An annual fee that varies between €25 to €100 + VAT fee applies based on size of outlet

  1. Once scheme starts, charge a €0.10c deposit on every single used beverage container sold that is in scope of the scheme.

The deposit value shall not be subject to VAT and shall be indicated separately from the price on all receipts and invoices at every stage of the supply chain.

  1. Once the scheme starts, all customer receipts or invoices shall contain a summary of the total refundable deposit value being charged within such purchase at the end of the receipt or invoice as a separate line item labelled as 'BCRS Refundable deposit' (for POS systems) or ‘BCRS Ref. Dep.’ (for Cash registers) and may be governed by the letter ‘M’.

If you are a retailer redeeming consumer vouchers, the total value of redeemed BCRS deposit Vouchers may also be shown on a separate line item clearly marked as ‘BCRS Deposit Refund’ (for POS Systems).

  1. Your Businesses’ BCRS Registration Number is to be made clearly visible on all invoices and fiscal receipts.
  2. In the price indication for the beverage on shelves, indicate:
    • the total price for the beverage inclusive of the €0.10c refundable deposit
    • the amount of deposit which has to be paid by the consumer separately clearly labelled 'BCRS Refundable Deposit'.
      • ie.: Price + BCRS Refundable Deposit = Final Price
        €1.00 + €0.10c BCRS Refundable Deposit = €1.10c
  3. Collection Obligations at law

Each retail outlet shall have a system in place for the return of single use containers by consumers.

There are three ways in which a retailer can fulfil its obligations at law as a redemption location.

  • a. Eligible Retailers may host and operate a BCRS Malta Ltd RVM on its property subject to terms of a hosting agreement. €0.10c vouchers issued from an RVM hosted at a retail outlet may be redeemed only at that retail outlet or its chain of outlets. Refund of deposits paid to consumers by the retailer for the redemption of vouchers issued from hosted RVMs are paid by BCRS Malta Ltd directly to the retailer.

All eligible retailers have been contacted, as determined by a market mapping study identifying such eligible retailers based on throughput criteria.

  • b. Retailers with an active registration may subscribe to the Public Recycling Hub Network setup and operated by BCRS Malta Ltd. €0.10c vouchers issued from Public Recycling Hubs may be redeemed at any retail outlet with an active registration with BCRS Malta Ltd.

Refund of deposits paid to consumers by the retailer for the redemption of vouchers issued from Public Recycling Hubs are paid by BCRS Malta Ltd directly to the retailer. 
Contact BCRS to subscribe your outlet to this network.

  • c. The retailer may adopt a manual collection system
    • I. Collect and store containers in their original shape and deposit them at the nearest Public Recycling Hub. Retailers with an active registration may subscribe to the BCRS Malta Ltd card system. Refund of deposits paid to consumers by the retailer for those containers returned by the retailer to a Public Recycling Hub are paid by BCRS Malta Ltd directly to the retailer via a business transaction instead of a voucher when subscribed to the BCRS Malta Ltd card system.
    • II. Collect and store containers in their original shape using bags and seals provided by BCRS and return them to BCRS Malta Clearing Centre in Hal Far for counting and processing, using a collection service organised by BCRS Malta Ltd. Refund of deposits paid to consumers by the retailer for the containers returned via the manual collection system are paid by BCRS Malta Ltd directly to the retailer via a business transaction. With respect to the quantity of containers returned, the count of BCRS Malta Ltd. shall be final. Repeated return of out-ofscope containers will lead to disqualification from the collection service.

      Hence, in absence of a retailer having an RVM on site, in order to guarantee adequate consumer service, at a minimum the retailer must operate a manual collection system1, however this can be supplemented and facilitated by subscribing to the Public Recycling Hub network such that empty containers collected by the retailer may be returned using the Public Hub by the retailer himself using the BCRS card system, and/or consumers may opt to go themselves directly to the Public Hub and then redeem the vouchers issued at a subscribed retail outlet.

      Retailers are also hereby reminded that as per the terms and conditions of participation on the BCRS website, retailers operating a manual collection system are paid by BCRS Malta Ltd a handling fee of €0.01 per container collected.

      1The retail outlet is only obliged to accept returns of empty beverage containers subject to the empty containers being

        • registered with BCRS Malta Ltd (you can confirm using the free mobile APP)
        • empty and not squashed
        • with the label and a legible barcode
        • Not contaminated with anything other than traces of the original beverage
        • The retail outlet reserves the right to refuse returns of containers that
          • have barcodes that are not sold at the retail outlet
          • have been purchased over two years ago
          • more than 50 containers at the same time

7. If you are a retailer wanting to redeem consumer vouchers

In order for a retailer to be able to validate and redeem vouchers, with the subsequent refund of deposit from BCRS Malta, the retailer needs to

EITHER

  • Integrate the point-of-sale system of each retail outlet to the BCRS RVM servers

When integrating the point-of-sale system, apart from automatically and securely validating and redeeming the voucher, the Point of Sale will also automatically deduct the redeemed deposit from the Bill.

The major Point of Sale suppliers in Malta have upgraded their software in line the above, so if these upgrades have not yet been included in your POS kindly contact your POS supplier immediately.

In case of difficulty with your POS Please contact BCRS on helpline: +356 9909 9955 or by email on info@bcrsmalta.mt

OR

  • Download the FREE BCRS mobile APP.  

If a retailer does not have a point-of-sale system (uses a cash register) or does not want to integrate the point of sale with the BCRS RVM Servers, Retailers may use the free BCRS Mobile App to validate and redeem vouchers securely. With this method however there is no automatic deduction of the redeemed vouchers from the Bill, which has to be done manually by retailer.

Retailers will be able to download the free APP by accessing the Play Store (for Android Smartphones) or App Store (for Apple Smartphones) and search for the ‘BCRS’ app.

A BCRS registration number will be required in order to be able to use the BCRS APP.

For further guidance on the BCRS Mobile APP please contact BCRS on helpline: +356 9909 9955 or by email on info@bcrsmalta.mt

Download the full guidelines from here:
BCRS Guidelines - Retailers

  1. Register your entity with BCRS Malta on the online portal bcrsmalta.mt

An annual fee that varies between €25 to €100 + VAT fee applies based on size of establishment

  1. IF YOU ARE A CATERING ESTABLISHMENT WITH OFF_PREMISE CONSUMPTION

i.e Consumer takes container away from the establishment

a. Once scheme starts, charge a €0.10c deposit on every single used beverage container sold that is in scope of the scheme.

The deposit value shall not be subject to VAT and shall be indicated separately from the price on all receipts and invoices at every stage of the supply chain.

b. Once the scheme starts, all customer receipts or invoices shall contain a summary of the total refundable deposit value being charged within such purchase at the end of the receipt or invoice as a separate line item labelled as 'BCRS Refundable deposit' (for POS systems) or ‘BCRS Ref. Dep.’ (for Cash registers) and may be governed by the letter ‘M’.

The major Point of Sale suppliers in Malta have upgraded their software in line with the above, so if these upgrades have not yet been included in your POS kindly contact your POS supplier immediately.

In case of difficulty with your POS or Cash Registers, kindly contact BCRS on +356 9909 9955 to enable BCRS to provide the necessary guidance as may be required.

c. Your Businesses’ BCRS Registration Number is to be made clearly visible on all invoices and fiscal receipts.

d. In the price indication for the beverage on shelves, indicate:

  • the total price for the beverage inclusive of the €0.10c refundable deposit
  • the amount of deposit which has to be paid by the consumer separately clearly labelled 'BCRS Refundable Deposit'.

i.e.: Price + BCRS Refundable Deposit = Final Price
€1.00 + €0.10c BCRS Refundable Deposit = €1.10c

  1. IF YOU ARE A CATERING ESTABLISHMENT WITH ON_PREMISE CONSUMPTION

i.e Container remains at the establishment after consumption

a. Once scheme starts, you should not charge a €0.10c deposit on every single used beverage container sold that is in scope of the scheme.

In this case the €0.10c deposit is recovered by the catering establishment by returning the empty beverage containers to BCRS Malta Ltd who will refund the deposit directly to the catering establishment.

Refer to FAQ: How do I return my used beverage containers if am a business operator?

b. Your Businesses’ BCRS Registration Number is to be made clearly visible on all invoices and fiscal receipts

More information can be requested on info@bcrsmalta.mt or call BCRS Malta Ltd on the BCRS helpline +356 9909 9955

In preparation for the national Beverage Container Refund Scheme launch, BCRS Malta Ltd has been reaching out, over the past several months, to the business community and stakeholders from the Producers, Importers, Distributors, Retail and Catering sectors. Furthermore, an educational campaign aimed towards the end-consumer will be launched in the coming days to inform the consumer about the scheme, how to use the Reverse Vending Machines, and how the public’s contribution will result in litter reduction, higher recycling rates and a better environment overall. 

In the mean more information can be found on the website www.bcrsmalta.mt, requested on info@bcrsmalta.mt or call BCRS Malta Ltd on the BCRS helpline +356 9909 9955