The councillor for Maintenance of Vera Town Council, Miguel Ángel Martínez, has received from Carmen Moncada, Head of Service of the Almanzora-Levante-Vélez Consortium for the collection and treatment of solid urban waste, the “Green Igloo” award from Ecovidrio, the non-profit organisation responsible for the management of the recycling of glass packaging waste in Spain. This award recognises the municipalities, participants in the Green Flags movement, which have increased the selective collection of glass containers during the summer months.
Vera Town Council, in collaboration with the Almanzora-Levante-Vélez Consortium, managed to selectively collect a total of 74,000 kg of glass containers during July and August, 13% more than in 2020. These results would not have been possible without the collaboration of almost 25 hospitality establishments, a sector that generates 52% of single-use glass containers.
With the aim of increasing collection volumes at a critical time for consumption, Ecovidrio has developed an intensive campaign to support local hospitality professionals by providing containers adapted for the hospitality sector and bins to facilitate the transport of glass packaging waste.
Green Flags, a strategic commitment by Ecovidrio
The Green Flags Movement is one of Ecovidrio’s most recognisable initiatives to support the hospitality sector and move towards a more sustainable and resource-friendly offer. This summer, the organisation has made more than 15,000 information and awareness-raising visits to the hotel and catering establishments in the participating towns. Some of the actions carried out on the ground included finding out about their recycling habits, monitoring the volume of waste in the surrounding areas, installing more than 500 containers available to the hotel and catering industry, and facilitating the transport of glass packaging waste with adapted bins.
The Green Flag Movement has involved 127 coastal towns in five autonomous communities, as well as more than 13,200 bars, beach bars and restaurants. A total of 31,045 tonnes of glass packaging waste has been collected in the participating towns and cities, which is 21% more than last summer.
Green Flags 2021 Winners
The Green Flags campaign aims to reward the efforts of hotel establishments during the summer, a time when the selective collection of glass increases thanks to tourism and greater consumption. The initiative has valued through a scoring system the efforts of local hotels and the activism of coastal municipalities for sustainability and recycling of glass containers during the summer.
A total of 127 coastal municipalities, from five different autonomous communities (Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Valencia, Andalusia and Murcia), competed for one of the eight Ecovidrio Green Flags. The eight municipalities that have been awarded the Green Flag this year were: Almería, Mojácar, Castelldefels, Torroella de Montgrí – l’Estartit, El Campello, Calp, Cartagena and Sant Antoni de Portmany.
Ecovidrio is the non-profit organisation responsible for the management of glass packaging waste recycling in Spain. In 1997, following the approval of the Law on Packaging and Packaging Waste in 1997 and the start-up of its operations in 1998, it became the managing entity of a recycling model that guarantees a complete service to which all citizens have access. In terms of financing, 8,000 packaging companies make the recycling system possible with their contribution through the green point.
Ecovidrio’s work stands out for guaranteeing high quality recycling through the container, strengthening containerisation and collection infrastructures, investing in plans and resources aimed at increasing the recycling of glass containers in the on-trade, mobilising citizens through awareness-raising campaigns and promoting prevention and the eco-design of containers.
In the last two decades, the Ecovidrio system has enabled the exponential growth of the recycling rate from 31.3% in 2000 to 76.8% in 2018, according to the latest official data from the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITERD).
The recycling of glass packaging is a key element in contributing to sustainable development, fostering the transition to the circular economy and combating climate change. In addition, glass packaging recycling is an activity that supports the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically, it contributes to the goals (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production and (13) Climate Action.