They have opened the door to the introduction of return systems in the South Society

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The Spanish Congress has approved the Law on Waste and Contaminated Soils. They will now take him to the Senate to take the final step in a lengthy process. Environmentalists have accused him of “lack of ambition” and failure to respond to serious problems with waste. The following are some of the most influential points in the law.

Plastic tax

On the premise that the polluter pays, the law provides for the imposition of a tax on non-recyclable plastic: 0.45 euros per kilo. The implementation of this measure, however, will not take effect immediately. The PSOE and the PP have agreed to leave until January 1, 2023. Environmentalists have criticized the delay. Julio Barea, head of the Spanish Greenpeace Waste Campaign, recalled that there was a “global emergency” due to plastic pollution. “In Europe and Spain, 40% of plastic is used to make disposable containers. We are suffering from a silent pandemic that will explode in our hands, and in this law they have decided to postpone this tax on plastic. We’ll see who rules in 2023, and he’ll decide. “

Ship return system

He sees the same risk of delay as one of the main measures of the law of the Slug; namely, with a view to launching a system for the return of bottles and light containers. This system would recover cans and containers of drinks and food, and the consumer would recover the money paid for them in return for the tenor. There are such systems in Europe, and they have achieved very good recovery results. One of the shortcomings of environmental law today is that glass bottles and containers have not been included in the system. “It is essential that glass be included in this system,” Barea said. Another shortcoming is the deadlines provided by law. In 2023 and 2027, they plan to review the data on ship recovery and decide accordingly. In fact, the law aims to separate 77% of plastic bottles by 2023 and 90% by 2030. Failure to meet these targets would result in the establishment of a Ship Return and Collection System from 2023 onwards. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s a blow, because we’ve wasted a decade on this issue and we’re throwing 35 million bottles of drinks into the environment every day in Spain, “complained Barea. Such systems are already in place in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and other European countries, and will be available soon in Portugal. The government should develop the characteristics of the system to be established in the case of the Southern Basque Country and Spain by means of a royal decree, once the law has been implemented.

Ecoembes, a company that manages light packaging in Spain, and lobbies made up of distribution network companies have been working to delay this measure, according to environmentalists. The situation is changing a bit, however, as large beverage companies are opting for a return system. In fact, the law establishes the obligation to use reusable PET plastics. In the case of plastic bottles, for example, at least 25% of the material must be recycled. “Only 25% of plastic PET is recovered in Spain, which is why this recycled PET is being imported from Germany,” Barea said. However, with the law in force, single-use plastics will not be allowed to be marketed: woods, plates, cutlery, cotton swabs and straws, among others. They should have been banned from July 1, as ordered by Europe, but the measure has been postponed in Spain and the Southern Basque Country.

Landfill and incinerator tax

The law recognizes the importance of selective collection of urban waste. Explains the need to improve the current data, thus imposing the obligation to collect 55% of municipal waste separately by 2025; By 6030, to reach 60%; and by 2035, to 65%. To this end, he emphasized the importance of promoting thematic collection and “taking into account” the systems that have been successfully developed, with reference to door-to-door collection. It establishes a schedule for the separate collection of organic matter, which will gradually become mandatory in all municipalities. From July 2022, it will be mandatory for municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants to collect bio-waste separately. Barea is well aware of this, but has condemned the fact that the law still allows a large number of inappropriate parts of this organic matter, 15%. “That can’t be the case, because compost doesn’t have a market entry. You have to be more careful.” The Basque Country has the highest urban waste recycling rate in Gipuzkoa, reaching 55% in 2020, according to data provided by the Provincial Council. In the rest of the country, this rate is significantly lower: around 33% in Álava and Bizkaia, and around 40% in Navarre. In the Northern Basque Country, they are returning 25%, according to data provided by Bil ta Garbi. Europe has asked states to reach a recycling rate of 50% by 2020 and 65% by 2035.

The law sets a number of waste prevention targets: to generate 15% less waste by 2030 than in 2010. A number of measures are in place to this end, including the imposition of a fee on incinerators and landfills. The PSOE and the PP have also agreed to postpone this to 2023. The sluggishness has approved, once and for all, the imposition of a tax on landfills and incinerators, and has emphasized the importance of implementing them in all communities. In fact, until now there was such a tax in Catalonia. The Catalan pro-independence party has called on the government to respect the local tax, but has not accepted the request, and both the ERC and the Junta have voted against it. There is no such thing in the Southern Basque Country, so this is one of the main innovations that the law will bring to the Basque Country.

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Salman Sahr

Salman is a journalist at and he deals with Latest News, World News, and Business News. Salman is a very professional and authentic news journalist.

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