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A conscientious person dropping a glass bottle into a green bottle bank. SUR
Malaga and Costa del Sol clearly lead Andalucía region for glass recycling: an average of 66 bottles per person per year
Environment

Malaga and Costa del Sol clearly lead Andalucía region for glass recycling: an average of 66 bottles per person per year

At a national level, Spain is on track, two years ahead of schedule, to meet the ambitious targets set by the EU for glass recycling by 2025

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Tuesday, 2 April 2024, 17:30

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The people of Malaga can be proud of being so environmentally friendly... especially when it comes to their recycling of glass bottles and jars. The province leads the way in the collection of this particular type of packaging material with more than 33,636 tonnes deposited in the green bottle bank. In fact, the improved awareness to 'think green' by the public and the boom in the hotel and catering industry sectors in Malaga city and along the Costa del Sol have placed the province ahead of the rest in Andalucía.

In 2023 every resident of Malaga put about 19.2 kilos of glass into the green recycling containers, the equivalent of about 66 items per person. During 2023, the people of Malaga dropped off around 315,000 glass containers in the bottle banks every day, that's 219 per minute.

Therefore, the province is bang on the national average and clearly ahead of other Andalusian province leading Granada (13.4 kg/inhabitant), Seville (13.3), Cadiz (13.1), Jaen (11), Almeria (10.7), Huelva (10.2) and Cordoba (9.9), according to data provided by Ecovidrio.

Ecovidrio is the body responsible for the management of glass recycling in Spain. They stress that this figure is worth even more given that glass usage was estimated to fall by 4.3%, which could have led to less recycling, but the contrary has happened. Malaga has 8,851 green containers, one for every 205 inhabitants.

Andalucía: still at the tail end overall

Staying at the regional level, it is worth pointing out that Granada city stands in sixth place on the national list of provincial cities that recycle the most (first in Andalucía), with 22.4 kg of glass containers (equivalent to about 77 items per person). Glass collected for recycling totalled 127,543 tonnes in 2023 in Andalucía. Every resident recycled 14.9 kg of glass containers, equivalent to around 51 items per person. However, this figure is well below the average, taking up the tail end for Spain.

In addition to all the glass dropped off by the public, across the region Ecovidrio recovered a further 6,413 tonnes of glass not correctly separated at source. This was transferred to regional waste-processing plants to prevent it from ending up in landfill.

Glass recycling in Spain

In 2023, 998,338 tonnes of glass were recovered across Spain, of which 924,283 tonnes (more than 90%) came from the public using green bottle banks. These figures put the public's contribution to glass recycling at 19.2 kg per inhabitant (around 66 containers per person).

In addition to all the glass dropped into the green 'igloos' by green-minded people, Ecovidrio additionally recovered 74,054 tonnes through rubbish-sorting and extraction of glass at urban waste treatment plants. Glass recycling has become a solid habit in Spain. According to Ecovidrio's estimate (yet to be confirmed), by the end of 2023 the recycling rate of glass containers in Spain will stand at 70.1%. If so, then Spain will have surpassed, two years ahead, the ambitious targets set by the EU for glass recycling by 2025.

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