84% of the Spanish population would accept stronger environmental regulations in order to protect the planet

The 17th of May was the World Recycling Day. A recent survey released by the data platform Statista, has analysed Spanish population’s recycling trends and one of the main conclusions shows that the percentage of people recycling plastic packaging grew from 23,3% to 51,5% between 2007 and 2019. Also, ASPAPEL (Pulp, Paper and Carton Fabricants’ Spanish Association) conducted a study which reveals that the paper recycling rate in Spain reaches 78%. We can, then, deduct that environmental awareness is growing among citizens and that they try to contribute through individual actions.

Containers help separating waste so it is easier to recycle it afterwards. Nareeta Martin.

Recycling is one of the famous 3Rs of sustainability which can be carried out in areas like individual consumption as well as in companies. The other two Rs are Reusing, in order to use again all the things we have, before buying a new item; and Reducing to, when possible, try to buy the least amount of non-reusable or non-recyclable packaging or choosing those more easily recyclable and sustainably produced instead. Recycling is important, but it is not the only way to implement sustainable habits, especially in the business area. In fact, it is the last priority among the 3R’s.

Kantar, in its study ‘Our Planet’, points that “84% of Spanish population would accept tougher environment regulations in order to protect the planet, followed by Singapore (83%) and Poland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (all three of them with a 79%)”. And the percentage of people concerned about the environment reaches 93% in Spain. Individual actions in the private area are growing, and companies want to join the change too.

What can be done in the enterprise sector?

Besides the 3R’s – Reducing, Reusing and Recycling – a good way to contribute from a company would be LCA (Life Cycle Assessment). LCA focuses on calculating the potential environmental impact in all process’ stages from its beginning (raw material extraction, for example) until the end of the life cycle of a product or service (spills, emissions, waste).

Implementing changes and strategies which can be truly more sustainable is possible through these calculations. For example: if more energy would be necessary for the industrial process of recycling than for the primary production of the same material, a lot more environmental impacts linked to this energy production would be generated, and it would not be sustainable, even if waste reduction was applied.

Every activity or product has a potential environment and societal impact. Recycling, too. It is, in the end, an industrial process which requires an infrastructure, chemical materials and energy and, of course, it has its own environmental impact. That is why recycling may be one of the possible solutions, but it can – and should – come along with others like reducing, reusing and implementation of LCA to evaluate those impacts.

In order to get those LCA calculations, an expert professional team with the specific knowledge is key, as they can advice each company about measures to adopt in order to optimize processes and make them more sustainable. At Contactica we count on a sustainability and LCA specialised team who has participated in many European funded projects.

Do you want to learn more? In this article we explain more about LCA and how we work.

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