Żibel Community Coordinator

  • Businesses becoming nature positive

  • Changes in public behaviour to better preserve, protect and regenerate the natural world

  • Reduced waste and improved waste management

€5,625 awarded

Project duration: September 2023 to September 2024

Ocean litter is a significant issue for the archipelago. Malta’s limited size, coupled with its growing population and reliance on environmentally damaging industries, creates a considerable demand on Malta’s waste management systems. Malta’s recycling rate is staggeringly low at around 11%, whereas the EU average exceeds 40%. Worryingly, the recycling rate has decreased over the past decade. Malta has a known littering problem, leading to significant waste in public and environmentally sensitive areas, including the sea. Not only does marine litter create an unsightly environment, but it also damages marine ecosystems and species such as seagrass and loggerhead turtles.  

Founded in 2017, Żibel aims to create awareness, inspire environmental action, and provide tangible solutions. So far, Żibel has collected over 136,000 KG of waste from the Maltese environment, mobilized over 6,000 volunteers and 900+ divers, and retrieved more than 95 fishing nets from the seabed, saving thousands of sea creatures. They have a growing model, yet until recently, Żibel was entirely run by volunteers. 

MEF is co-financing Żibel’s first paid member of staff to help them bolster the number of people, businesses, and groups they can engage. The paid staff member is managing and improving their large network of volunteers, providing administrative support for Żibel’s projects, and working on marketing, fundraising, and sponsorship. This will allow them to reach new volunteers and businesses, helping them to increase their impact and unlock new revenue. 

Żibel will be: 

  • Working directly to preserve, protect, and regenerate the marine environment. 
  • Raising people’s awareness of the natural world and its value. 
  • Promoting and supporting collective action. 


As a result, the grant will support Żibel to: 

  • Strengthen their relationship with their network of volunteers and increase the number of people who engage with Żibel’s work, particularly targeting individuals aged between 18 and 35. 
  • Reduce the density of floating plastic debris. 
  • Encourage better waste management in Malta. 
  • Encourage people to have a greater appreciation of the natural world and its value. 


“This is a much needed role which is vital to the expansion of the organisation and continuing to care for our ever-growing community. On behalf of all the team, I’d like to thank the MEF board for believing in our mission and enabling us to do more of what we love.” – Andrew Schembri / Żibel Co-Founder & Chairman


Learn more about Żibel here.

Image credit: Żibel
Image credit: Żibel
Image credit: Żibel & Anastasia Schmuck