While not exactly the European recycling champs, the Spaniards nevertheless hold their own. Around 70% of the packaging waste is currently recovered and reprocessed, along with 50% of plastic packaging, says the packaging waste collection agency, Ecoembalajes España (Ecoembes; www.ecoembes.com).
Despite the fact that in this group Spain claims to be ahead of France and Denmark and plays in a league with the UK and Portugal, Ecoembes says the score is not yet high enough. Still, the Iberians, who got off to a late start, are catching up fast. The past five “seasons” are something to be proud of. From 1997 to 2011, according to the collection agency, some 11.7 m t of packaging waste was recycled – enough to fill 880 fútbol stadiums.
It’s not known whether Spain even has 880 stadiums, but in any case one can hope the waste is not being stored there. If it is, some fancy footwork will be need to clear space before the start of “La Liga’s” next season.