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Spain pioneers Europe-based recycling message

Spain – The Spanish municipality of Fuenlabrada and several towns across the Malaga region have approved a proposal to commit to recycling ‘made in Europe’. In so doing, they have pledged that all the paper and board collected in their area will be recycled by either Spanish or European paper mills.

With a population of more than 200 000, Fuenlabrada counts as one of the biggest towns in the Madrid metropolitan area and also owns some of the largest paper mills in the country. The council hopes its support of ‘domestic’ recycling will stop some 18% of Spain’s paper recyclables from being exported to Asia – a trade which, it is claimed, regularly disrupts operations at domestic mills owing to a lack of raw material.

Promoting proximity

Since Spain is the only EU member state which, by law, ‘allows the generator of waste to promote proximity in recycling’, Jori Ringman, recycling director at the Confederation of European Paper Industries, says he welcomes the move. ‘We would definitely like to see other countries follow suit,’ he adds.

But many industry parties are far from convinced. Cristina Afán, secretary general of Spanish paper and cardboard recycling association REPACAR, fears that the local authorities are ‘using the environment as an excuse for total protectionism’.

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Source: ENDS Europe

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