Recycling Day: three steps to reduce 3 million tonnes of plastic in 10 years

Organisations have submitted a regulatory proposal to the Ministry of the Environment with measures such as enabling the reuse of packaging at points of sale and eliminating regulatory barriers to reuse packaging in cosmetics and animal feed.

By Maria del Mar Parra

A study carried out by organisations and submitted to the Ministry of the Environment proposes regulatory measures that, if implemented, would reduce the amount of plastic packaging discarded in the country by almost 3 million tonnes in 10 years.

The document contains a regulatory proposal based on three pillars:

Reducing packaging

The first pillar seeks to set concrete targets to reduce the production of single-use packaging.

This would mean requiring producers to reduce the total amount of packaging placed on the market, either through reuse schemes or by eliminating “superfluous packaging”, which facilitates distribution but is not strictly necessary.

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Point-of-sale reuse

Another regulatory pillar is to require retailers to implement point-of-sale packaging reuse models.

These requirements would apply to shops that exceed a certain surface area and sell products in the most relevant categories of household packaging: food and beverages, personal hygiene and household cleaning.

The aim is for shops to set aside part of their floor space for producers to implement packaging reuse schemes. This means that users can return packaging or refill it.

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Removing unnecessary barriers

The third pillar is to remove some regulatory barriers that prevent the reuse of packaging.

This involves measures such as enabling the bulk sale of products that can be sold in this way, expressly allowing consumers to buy goods with their own packaging.

It also proposes to analyse and eliminate some decrees of the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, which restrict the bulk sale of some products such as cosmetics or pet food.

The proposal was drafted by marine conservation organisation Oceana, reuse company Algramo and the National Association of the Recycling Industry (ANIR).

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