Ecovidrio: progress on waste prevention among member companies

To date, two hundred and seventy-eight business members of Ecovidrio have implemented Company Plans for Waste Prevention drafted by the not-for-profit association that manages glass recycling in Spain…

To date, two hundred and seventy-eight business members of Ecovidrio have implemented Company Plans for Waste Prevention drafted by the not-for-profit association that manages glass recycling in Spain. The plans are aimed at minimizing at source the volume of waste produced and complying with the 1998 Packaging and Container Waste Law, freeing Ecovidrio member companies from the need to produce their own plans. Ecovidrio began producting three-year plans in 1997 for firms in the wine, beer, spirits and cider sectors and in 2005 the association presented its third such plans, covering the period 2005-2008. The results of the second waste prevention plans, put into effect between 2002 and 2005, have been positive, with progress on four fronts: cutting the weight of containers, eliminating certain elements of containers, the introduction of lower volume formats, and the standardization of formats for reusable containers. Likewise, progress has been made in the incorporation of recycled material in containers and packaging. The environmental quality of containers and the prospects for recycling have been improved through the reduction or elimination of hazardous materials and such measures as the use of biodegradable organic inks, fewer colors, less varnish and the substitution of metallic labels with paper ones. In general, companies have tried to promote the adoption of good practice in the internal management of container waste to support the actions described above and to improve their management in regard to waste and the environment. Nevertheless, in spite of numerous efforts in progress to minimize container waste, Ecovidrio notes the existence of certain limitations to further progress and greater results, be they legal (container safety and consumer health), technical (actions required to guarantee correct warehousing, transport and handling), or socio-economic (consumer habits and distribution requirements).