The collection and adequate treatment of disposable beverage containers and their valorisation through recycling is a fundamental component of waste management, contributing to the pursuit of aGreen Economy. Besides reducing the transportation of these residues to waterways and the environmental challenges this entails, recycling can also prevent them from being deposited at landfills, preventing air, soil and water pollution. Additionally, the use of recycled materials in production brings about benefits in terms of lower production costs, energy savings and lower emissions, and contributes to an economy based on circularity principles.
iREC will address the challenges mentioned above through an innovative approach to the management of single-use containers, bringing together, towards that end, an experienced team of retailers, collection services, research centres and companies in the waste sector.
Firstly, a pilot scheme for the introduction incentives to recycling will be implemented in Cascais, thus covering a population of 206,000 inhabitants and 1,200,000 tourists per year. This will be achieved by setting up 10 Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) in the main commercial spaces in the municipality (hyper and supermarkets, shopping centres and the municipal market). The incentive scheme will be based on a gamification system, making use of applications which award users for depositing plastic and glass beverage containers and aluminium cans in RVMs with city points which can be converted into various services, such as bus and museum tickets. To guarantee large-scale adherence to the incentives scheme, the project will devise and implement a communication plan specifically designed to achieve that goal. Secondly, the project will test the effect of the incentives scheme on selective collection rates, thus contributing with valuable and unprecedented knowledge which will support decision-making and the transition to the new recycling system, mandatory from 2022 onwards. Sharing results and communicating/cooperating with other pilot projects, namely in the context of Fundo Ambiental, will also be central to the project, allowing to maximize the reach of the knowledge and experience acquired.
The project will thus contribute towards improving the environmental quality, promoting climate action and a circular economy. In particular, the project also focuses on increasing collection rates, on promoting the use of recycled materials in the production of goods, on reducing the amount of waste in landfills and on evaluating the incentives system taking into account the goals to be achieved. The project will also focus on the development and testing of this system, which, associated with a strong communication and awareness campaign, will promote innovation, the introduction of new technologies in the national setting and the adoption of more sustainable behaviours in relation to waste.
Led by: Cascais Ambiente
Funded by: Mecanismo Financeiro do Espaço Económico Europeu (MFEEE/EEA-Grants), Programa Ambiente
Researchers: Ana Rodrigues, Carina Silva, Luis Veiga Martins, Margarida Ortigão, Maria Antonieta Cunha e Sá, Renato Rosa,
Partner: Nova SBE Sustainability Hub
iREC - Inovar a reciclagem | Cascais Ambiente
iREC - Inovar a Reciclagem (eeagrants.gov.pt)