Spain: glass recycling doubles in last five years

Five years after the law on packaging and packaging waste came into force the rate of glass recycling in Spain has doubled and there is now a bottle bank for every 426 inhabitants, according to Ecovid…

Five years after the law on packaging and packaging waste came into force the rate of glass recycling in Spain has doubled and there is now a bottle bank for every 426 inhabitants, according to Ecovidrio on 28 May 2003. Ecovidrio is the non-profit organisation which manages glass recycling in the country. With 41,700 more bottle banks since the law, Ecovidrio said in a statement that the number of people per container has fallen from 700 of five years ago to the present figure of 426, ensuring that 99% of the population is within reach of a bottle bank. The weight of glass collected in bottle banks increased steadily by 51% between 1998 and 2002, following the introduction of the recycling law, Ecovidrio added. Ecovidrio attributes the increase to greater public awareness and the continual growth of the recycling infrastructure, which today enable the recycling of 9 kilos of glass per person, against 6.6 kilos in 1998, to reach 397,930 tonnes. In response to the 9% growth in waste generation between 1997 and 2001, the weight of containers was reduced down by 23% for cider bottles, 10% for beer bottles and 4.3% for wine and spirit bottles, according to the statement. Under the packaging waste law, glass recycling is financed by 2,100 participating companies, which pay a contribution on each bottle sold. Bottles are identified by the “Punto Verde” logo. This measure makes possible the treatment of 5 billion bottles a year.