The Spanish have managed to double the figures for recycling domestic plastics since 2010, reaching almost 616,300 tons in 2020, according to the annual report of Cicloplast. This figure indicates that each citizen of the country delivered a total of 13.1 kilograms of plastic containers for recycling. Spain occupies one of the first positions in Europe in terms of the recycling of domestic packaging.
For its part, Cicloplast states that Spain achieved a recycling of 769,000 tons of commercial plastic. Although during the COVID-19 pandemic there was a slight reduction of 2.1%. These data represent a change in the packaging collection trend, as a consequence of social confinement.
Households were the ones that contributed the most to recycling during times of pandemic. For this reason, entities such as Ecoembes did not stop carrying out environmental awareness actions throughout this period.
Recycling makes it possible to contribute to a better quality of life , causing better use of resources and thus slowing down the deterioration of the planet’s health. Most materials can be recycled, if you have the technology and organization to do so. The main benefits of recycling are the following:
Reduction of environmental deterioration
Recycling reduces the deterioration of the environment, since the use of recycled raw material causes the extraction of virgin raw material to be reduced. Proper waste management also prevents environmental damage caused by uncontrolled landfills. This translates to less pollution across the board.
Energy cost reduction
Production is something that requires a lot of energy. By reducing the extraction process of raw materials thanks to the use of recycled raw materials, the reduction in the use of energy, water and CO₂ emissions is very large.
Creation of green jobs
In Spain, recycling creates and maintains jobs.
One example is Ecoembes, a non-profit organization that manages the recycling of household packaging, and which, according to a recent study by the CCOO Labor, Environment and Health Trade Union Institute (ISTAS-CCOO), generates more than 10,000 direct green and quality jobs thanks to its activity.
Saving of natural resources
Recycling means that less virgin raw material is used to make new products. For the FAO, this is a fundamental method that saves finite natural resources.
Manufacture of new products
The manufacture of new products with recycled objects is already a general trend. The great advances in ecodesign are allowing many of the containers that we currently consume to be manufactured with high percentages of recycled raw material
Separating waste at home is a simple action that does not take much time and in return achieves great environmental improvements. The limitation of space is often a small initial brake, but with a little organization it is possible to recycle all the waste that is generated in a home. The best waste is the one that is not generated and that is why it is also very important to pay attention to the “3 R” rule:
-Reduce: it basically involves consuming with your head, planning your purchases in advance and not leaving what is really necessary.
-Reuse: together with repairing, these are actions that allow the useful life of products to be extended without having to acquire new ones.
-Recycle: once the waste has been generated, it is important to recycle it correctly so that it becomes a resource again.
One aspect to consider is the recycling colors to carry out the correct separation of the materials in the indicated containers . Paper and cardboard containers (cereal or shoe boxes, paper bags, newspapers, magazines, etc.) are placed in the blue containers, while plastic containers, metal containers and brik-type containers.
Another color is green where glass containers are deposited exclusively. Ceramic or glass is not accepted. Red containers are for hazardous waste like batteries, insecticides and more. Waste is in gray and organic material is deposited in orange.