Wednesday, July 6

Recycling, one of the keys to achieving a circular future

A few days ago, the 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference was celebrated, a city in which the first major international meeting of the UN of an environmental nature took place in 1972, and which led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). For two days, in the Swedish capital, the importance of caring for the environment and the application of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals have once again been put on the table.

Without a doubt, after half a century, it is honest to examine our conscience, recognize our failures and ask ourselves where we are going, what we can do and how we can change the way we behave and relate to our environment. But also, -why not-, it is fair to thank all those who, for a long time and with small gestures, contribute to caring for the environment. Because yes, fortunately, more and more companies, citizens and public administrations are opening their eyes, listening to experts and promoting actions to promote environmental sustainability. New generations aware of the threats facing the planet who not only think about the future, but also act to change things in the present with daily actions that, far from seeming trivial, represent great progress towards a more circular society.

Among all these actions, the recycling of containers has become one of the most consolidated habits among the citizens of our country to make it possible to reach a tomorrow in which the natural environment occupies the position it deserves. Not in vain, 4 out of 5 Spaniards declare -we declare- separate the packaging that we generate in our homes or, what is the same, practically 83% of the population. A figure that has not stopped growing in recent years: in 2015, there were 72.5% who claimed to do so.

And although we still have to keep moving forward to always recycle, regardless of where we are, and to the best of our ability, these growth data show not only that the habit of recycling is becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives, but also that they are something that include us and need everyone to be able to achieve them, are the result of the collaboration and commitment of the entire society. So much so that in 2021, 5% more packaging was sent to recycling facilities than the previous year, exceeding 1.5 million tons of packaging.

Spanish society has understood that recycling is a good way of changing things, one of the many keys that we have at our disposal to promote the change from a linear economic model -based on producing, consuming, and throwing away- to a circular one in which we give a new life to all the resources we have within our reach.

And I say one of the many keys because we must not ignore others that are equally essential, such as consuming with awareness, reducing the use of any object that can generate waste and promoting its reuse whenever possible, without neglecting the importance of redirecting business models and production cycles to make them more circular.

Great goals that require great efforts but that, without a doubt, will bring great benefits. You know what to do, how to do it and that we must start now: now it is up to us to get involved with them in order to achieve a circular society. Now, more than ever, we need to move, act, be activists of change to confront the environmental challenges that lie ahead. Society is willing to do it. Let’s not wait fifty more years to open the door to that circular future.

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