Plastic recycling in municipal waste was 15% in 2018

in News · 10-06-2020 10:00:00 · 0 Comments

The environmental association Zero released data, citing official figures, according to which in 2018 only 15 percent of plastic packaging was recycled in municipal waste.

Last February, the association had already said that Portugal had only recycled 12 percent of the plastic from urban waste, that is, only 72 thousand tons out of a total of 600 thousand tons.

At the time, the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, replied that the 2018 data indicated that 44 percent of these packages had been collected for recycling.

"In 2018, 163 thousand tons of plastic packaging were introduced to the market. Of these, 72 thousand tons were collected for recycling, 44 percent, this is the amount we have for 2018," said João Pedro Matos Fernandes.

On 9 June, in a new statement, Zero says that the official data, from the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), are right.

“In fact, according to data provided by APA to Zero, in 2018 478 thousand tons of plastic packaging were disposed of in our homes, of which, according to Sociedade Ponto Verde, only 72 thousand were recycled, which corresponds to a recycling rate of 15 percent”, writes the association in the document.

And adds that in February they asked for clarification from the Ministry but that they still hasn't received a response.

“Zero hopes that the Ministry, if it answers this letter, will not repeat that there are only 163 thousand tons of plastic packaging in urban waste and say that the difference for the 478 thousand is due to materials that are embedded in the plastics when characterising urban waste”, the statement also says.

The association adds that the decision of the Secretary of State for the Environment (Inês dos Santos Costa) is “very positive”, which together with the Secretary of State for the Economy (João Neves), issued an order giving the entities until September packaging managers to carry out an in-depth study on the quantity of packaging in municipal waste.

And they explain that in the letter sent to Zero, APA “confirms the existence of many more plastic packaging in urban waste (478 thousand tons) than those that were publicly mentioned by the minister (168 thousand tons) and that indicated that plastic packaging was just 3 percent of the waste in our homes, which makes no sense”.

In the analysis of the composition of urban waste provided by APA, Zero says that plastic packaging corresponds to 9.2 percent of the weight of this waste, which means that it is 478 thousand tons, taking into account that the national production of urban waste in 2018 was 5.2 million tons.


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