Spain is one of the top performers in Europe when it comes to recycling packaging. 1.35 million tonnes. That’s how much packaging Spain recycled in 2016 – around 3/4 of the total. Spain aims to become no. 1. How?
Household waste in Spain is collected via “bring banks” (collection containers you might find at the end of your street). Since 2012, Spain has done a tremendous job at expanding its household waste collection system to schools and the hotels, restaurants and catering (“HORECA”) sectors. In 2016, around 85% of packaging that was collected for recycling in Spain was collected via bring banks.
In parallel, Spain launched an ambitious out-of-home collection push in 2009, which really started to gather steam in 2015 and has provided massive growth in collection of packaging, notably at football stadiums and festivals, but also in offices, airports, stations, universities, prisons, hospitals and other locations where the importance of hygiene and safety require the use of single-use packaging.
4,300 containers deployed at festivals, reaching 1.8 million people in 2016
More can be done, especially to support collection and recycling efforts for Spain’s unique panoply of cultural events and festivities, which bring together millions of visitors each year. Perhaps Spain can take a cue from Italy’s annual Adunata when organising the next round of Ferias?
Be on the lookout for Spain’s recycling numbers next year, as well as new initiatives to continue to increase out-of-home collection.