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Portugal achieves recycling record in 2019

Portuguese citizens have recycled 10% more products compared to 2018

  • April 21, 2020 21:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Citizens of Portugal can take pride in the fact that together they achieved a staggering increase in the amount of recycled materials in 2019. According to data gathered by Sociedade Ponto Verde, recycling levels in Portugal have increased by 10% in 2019, compared to the 2018 figures.

In absolute figures, these 10% translate into a total 338,000 tons of waste being sent for recycling over the course of last year. The increase means that Portugal is well on its way towards achieving its sustainability and recycling targets.

Positive signs and problems for the future

In specifics, recycling has increased substantially concerning several fabrics, namely glass (9% increase in recycling), plastics (5% increase), paper and cardboard (14% increase), wood (34%) and steel and aluminium (7 and 14% of respectively).

These figures are a clear showing that Portuguese citizens are taking sustainability and the circular economy to heart – but still, there is a storm brewing on the horizon.

Representatives of Sociedade Ponto Verde believe that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will have a substantial and negative impact on recycling numbers in Portugal. With the government focusing on protecting the health of citizens and limiting social contact and life outside of peoples’ homes, it is natural that its focus has drifted away from sustainability goals. That is why it is expected for the recycling numbers to not follow the positive trends set over the last couple of years. 

Nonetheless, the separate collection of waste and its recycling must remain a priority for the relevant authorities, as the challenges presented by global warming and the lack of a global response are always in the rear-view mirror.

Sociedade Ponto Verde has a simple message for Portuguese citizens – not to forget their good recycling habits, no matter how life has changed and how it will change in the future. It is only through positive and responsible policies and attitudes that change can truly be achieved.



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