At the beginning of 2023, a new law came into force in Spain, adopted in the spring of 2022. With it, recycling becomes the rule, while the disposal of general garbage should be the exception.
Why encouragement is needed?
The serious measures have been taken because Spain has a below average level of recycling for the European Union. According to EAE Business School, an average of 52% is recycled or reused in the Bloc, 8.7% more than in Spain.
This is probably happening for several reasons. One of them is the lack of sufficient information campaigns. Also the different types and shapes of containers located in different Spanish cities are confusing. Besides all this, the environmental movement is not so strong in the country.
Spain is home to some of the biggest fast fashion companies in the world. Inditex, Zara’s parent company, and Barcelona-based giant Mango produce low-priced clothes that depreciate quickly and cannot be repaired. This generates tons of waste that is not recycled.
In Spain, the cities are generally quite clean, although in the evening one can see a lot of cigarette butts, tin cans and other waste thrown on the street, but in the evening the streets are cleaned and in the morning there is no sign of the garbage. To achieve that, a high price is paid. The daily newspaper El Diario has estimated that the cost of garbage collection and urban cleaning services in Madrid is now 70% higher than before the pandemic. It is estimated that each of the city’s residents generates 363.8 kg of garbage per year.
The new stricter measures
“The new waste law also bans the marketing of single-use plastic products, as well as cosmetic products and detergents containing microplastics, and limits the destruction or disposal of unsold nonperishable products, including textiles, toys or electrical appliances,” said for Deutsche Welle May Lopez, a sustainability expert at the EAE Business School in Madrid
Residents of a part of Barcelona throw their rubbish into the bin and it disappears underground. How is that possible? Through pneumatic waste collection boxes. These is a series of cover boxes that are connected to a central vacuum via a network of underground pipes. The special bins are located on the street, in the lobbies or common areas of the buildings. The waste collected in a special vacuum is either transported by truck from “suction points” or the waste installation “pulls” it with a vacuum and processes it.
The benefits of pneumatic waste collection are many. The bins are not overflowing with trash and therefore look better. Thanks to them, the transit of vehicles is reduced and they do not generate bad smells.