Ecovidrio has trusted RecySmart to apply for EU Next Generation and MITECO funds in an ambitious project to increase the recovery rate of glass in Spain.
Last year, 843,049 tonnes of glass were collected from the 230,950 green containers in Spain (5,500 glass items per minute!), and the national recycling rate of glass (76.8% – latest official data from 2018) is slightly above the EU average (75,8%).
However, Ecovidrio, the Spanish organization in charge of the recycling of glass at the national level, still believes there is room for improvement and foresees that the positive behavioral change observed during the conflictive 2020 regarding glass recycling will continue to rise. This trend added to the opportunity of receiving support from EU recovery funds to shape a perfect scenario to innovate in waste recovery.
For this reason, Ecovidrio has presented its project “Glass: 100% recyclable, 100% sustainable, 100% prepared for the future” to apply to the EU recovery funds. The 13 initiatives included have the objective to digitalize the value chain of glass packaging, maximize the profit of glass as a resource, and evolve operations to decarbonize them. The project would affect directly more than 200 waste collection companies, 17 treatment plants, and 13 glass manufacturers, but the benefits will impact all administrations and citizens.
Digitalization and sustainability mark the roadmap established by the European Union for the reconstruction of Europe after the Covid-19 crisis. Our project matches specifically with these pillars and the advantages of implementing them suppose an impulse without precedents to a model that is already an example of circularity, of contribution to the sustainable development of our country, of transparency and of compromise with innovation
José Manuel Núñez Lagos, General Director at Ecovidrio
RecySmart was selected as one of the main initiatives as it is the only technology capable of recognizing waste packaging and rewarding citizens for their proper recycling. Also, RecySmart will help to know the filling level of glass bins and provide valuable data to enable route optimization to decrease pollution and traffic with a more efficient collection. Therefore, Candam and Ecovidrio presented an Impact Assessment of deploying 230,950 RecySmart devices to install in every single glass bin in Spain. With an expected increase in recovery rate of 15%, the most relevant outcomes of the implementation are estimated to be after 10 years:
Economic: € 21 million savings recovering the investment in the sixth year
Environmental: 700,000 tonnes of CO2 reduction according to Ecovidrio
Social: 3,284 new jobs created
The project was so ambitious and powerful that Ecovidrio decided to present it also to the call done by the Spanish Ministry of Environmental Transition. According to them, the proposal matches perfectly with the call objectives.