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Title: Cross-sectoral collaboration within multi-level governance : the case of single-use plastic policy in Malta
Authors: Vassallo, Mario Thomas
Cassar, Clinton
Keywords: Plastic scrap -- Environmental aspects -- Malta
Plastics -- Environmental aspects -- Government policy -- Malta
Plastics -- Recycling -- Government policy -- Malta
Plastic scrap -- Malta -- Management -- Case studies
Plastic scrap -- Law and legislation
Issue Date: 2021-10
Publisher: International Applied Social Sciences Congress.
Citation: Vassallo, M. T., & Cassar, C. (2021). Cross-sectoral collaboration within multi-level governance: the case of single-use plastic policy in Malta. V. International Applied Social Sciences Congress (C-IASOS – 2021), Kuşadasi, Turkey. 1-32.
Abstract: Undeniably, plastic usage is predominant in our daily lives, featuring in an endless list of items such as bottles, disposables, packaging and fabric. At prima facie, plastic disposal causes irreversible damage to the natural environment, especially oceans. However, it also impacts human health and wellbeing, especially since its toxins or microplastics find themselves in the food chain. Since plastic causes a myriad of negative effects on the natural environment and human health, the urgency to ban it has been addressed by international organisations and the European Union (EU). Being the smallest Member State within the EU, Malta presents an insightful case study of how different levels of governance and a plethora of state and non-state actors engage in a game-like interaction. To this effect, this chapter sheds light on the implications of plastic pollution vis-à-vis sustainability and wellbeing, addressed through multilevel governance. The research core revolves around an investigation on the institutional intricacies in addressing the wicked problem of single-use plastic by mapping out the different layers of policy-making mechanisms that are involved, ranging from local to European and international governance, and from governmental to civil society centric strategies. A positivist ontology is activated to underpin the exploratory nature of this study. Through the application of content analysis of selected documentation, the extent of coordination and synergies among the different policy actors across a multi-layered governance platform is put under scrutiny. Quantitative findings are utilized to validate or contradict the original set of hypotheses and to propose a number of policy and governance recommendations that are useful to researchers and practitioners in the fields of public policy, politics, environmental science, public health and wellbeing, as well as insurance and risk management.
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