Spain has an issue with recycling: it reuses lower than the European common and worsens in round use of supplies | Climate and Environment | EUROtoday

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Spain has an issue with recycling: reuse charges, each within the city space and on the whole, are nonetheless 10 factors under the European common and an enormous distance from Germany, which nearly doubles the figures for waste in cities. . More worrying is the round use of supplies, which measures how lots of the whole uncooked supplies come from recycling, the share of which has gone from 11.5% to 7.1% in 12 years (since 2010). These are a few of the fundamental conclusions of the most recent Essentials report by the BBVA Foundation and the Valencian Institute for Economic Research (Ivie), ready utilizing knowledge from Eurostat – the European Statistical Office of the European Commission – and printed this Wednesday.

The report analyzes the evolution of those indicators in the principle economies of the European Union – Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands – and their comparability with the typical of the Twenty-seven. Spain solely fares properly in one of many indicators: within the city waste generated – which incorporates each financial exercise and home use – a discount of 40% per capita has been achieved between 2004 and 2020. This determine is because of the discount of chemical, wooden, textile and plastic waste, in all instances with discount charges above 50%. On the opposite hand, packaging has elevated by 12% in twenty years, primarily because of the enhance in digital commerce.

Meanwhile, the kilos of waste per inhabitant within the city space go from 654 kilos per capita in 2000 to 472 kilos in 2021, which represents a drop of 32.5%. “There has been greater awareness among the population about separating the garbage they produce, and that has prevented waste from going to the landfill,” explains Ernest Reig, Ivie researcher and one of many authors of the report. “In any case, the Spanish population has grown more than the European average, and since in this case we are talking about a quotient—which compares the volume of waste with the population—this population growth entails a certain reduction in the quotient,” he provides.

People have gotten extra conscious of recycling, however as soon as the totally different baggage attain the container, there may be numerous work to do. In reality, Spain is on the backside of the city waste recycling fee, with solely 36.7% restoration in 2021, greater than 10 factors under the European Union common, which reached 48. 7%, and much behind Germany (67.8%). “It is true that we are still far behind, but we have made a lot of progress in two decades in which the recycling rate has almost doubled: in 2000 that rate was 18.5% in Spain, while Germany was already recycling 52.5%,” says Eva Benages, additionally an economist at IVIE and one other of the authors of the report. In these twenty years, the European common has gone from 27.3% to 48.7%.

Meanwhile, the reuse fee of all waste additionally stays under surrounding nations: 48% in comparison with 58% in Europe. Reig attributes this to the shortage of innovation within the Spanish sector. “Germany and France produce more patents related to recycling than Spain and that has consequences on what happens with this waste,” he factors out.

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More worrying is the speed of round use of supplies, which measures the connection between the usage of uncooked supplies that come from recycling with respect to the overall use of supplies. In this case, Spain has gone from 10.5% in 2010 to 7.1% in 2022; The European common is 11.5% and on this area the chief is the Netherlands, with 27.5%. “This means that we opt more for the extraction of new materials than for reuse, which represents cost savings and helps the environment,” says Benages. “It may have to do with the fact that people are aware of separating waste and recycling, but we also need to raise awareness about more sustainable consumption models, that is, betting on second-hand products or repairing the ones we already have,” he continues. .

A woman looks at second-hand clothes in a Humana store in Madrid.
A lady appears at second-hand garments in a Humana retailer in Madrid. INMA FLORES

Reig goes additional: “To recycle materials more, markets for reusable products must be created. It is important that companies and administrations have a place to contact each other to create a market that allows exchange, in the style of Wallapop—which works as second-hand purchase and sale for individuals—- but for companies. Some steps have been taken, but it has not yet been sufficiently developed.” In his opinion, “consumers can also do more, we must try to extend the useful life of products with repair and remanufacturing, which consists of using the components of a product to reassemble them into another product.”

Return of packaging

Julio Barea, Greenpeace waste skilled, factors out one other pending difficulty: “The yellow container reached its maximum capacity for recovering packaging decades ago, while the sector does nothing but boycott any measure to modify this system.” What are you able to do then? “The very first thing is to remove all disposable containers. And then you need to go for a packaging return system wherein once you purchase a product you allow a small deposit (from 8 to 50 cents) that’s recovered when the packaging is returned.”

This system already works in countries such as Germany, Denmark or Portugal and helps improve rates. “In Germany there are PET plastic bottles that are reusable 40 or 50 times. They are prepared for it and when they are returned they are washed and used again,” he says. Consumers save the bottles and take them to machines in supermarkets, which offer a ticket with how much money they will discount on their next purchase. “On the other hand, in Spain 51 million beverage containers are sold every day, of which only 20 million are recovered for recycling, and this would be a simple way to remove many of them from circulation,” continues Barea.

“Despite the progress made in recent years, Spain still has a long way to go in the development of the circular economy,” the document summarizes. “To take advantage of the potential offered by this sustainable economy model, investments in R&D and the generation of patents in this area would have to be increased.” […]. In addition, the circular economy also requires cultural changes in consumers and their consumption habits, which can drive the development of new business models based on the so-called collaborative economy or on the rental of certain services instead of ownership of the good they lends them,” the report concludes.

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