Today there are 38.9 million Spaniards who declare themselves recyclers, practically two million more than the previous year, according to a sociological study carried out by Catchment for Ecoembes, the non-profit environmental organization that manages the recycling of household packaging. According to this report, which has had a sample of 8,800 people from all over the national territory, 82.3% of those surveyed have several bins, bags or spaces enabled to separate waste and be able to recycle later, one of them being for the plastic containers, cans and cartons, those of the yellow container. Thus, Spanish households have an average of 3.2 cubes.
It is striking that the increase in separating for recycling occurs in all age groups, although there is one that stands out above the others, they are the top recyclers. These are adults over 55 years of age, who are the most committed: 84.5% affirm that they have more than one space for recycling at home, one of them being for packaging. Behind them are adults between 35 and 54 years old, who follow them very closely with 83.9%, and young people between 25 and 34 years old and 16 to 25 years old, with 76.4% and 76, 3% respectively.
Regarding the family situation of the most recyclers, it stands out that, as was the case in the last study, the divorced continue to state that they are the most committed to the separation of household waste with 88.2%, closely followed by those who have a stable partner (85.5%). By family unit, the most committed are those made up of three members (84.7% versus 82.3% on average).
María Alonso is administrative and would be in the top one of recyclers due to their profile. She is 56 years old, divorced and there are three at home: Maria’s current partner and her 29-year-old daughter. In addition, they live in Madrid, one of the five regions with the most recycling space in their homes, behind La Rioja, Navarra and the Basque Country and ahead of Andalusia. “At home we have three bins with four spaces for recycling, one with space for brown and gray containers, another for packaging and another for paper,” he explains before clarifying: “And when necessary, we place a bag to collect the glass even though it is the material we use the least ”. They live in a house measuring 69 square meters and the lack of space is, in their opinion, just an easy excuse: “If you want to find the hole, you will find it.”
Few doubts about what to throw away in the yellow bin
Alonso acknowledges that at first it was difficult for him to find some products when it came to separating, especially those that he did not use often, but he hardly doubts. And what does the Catchment study say about the doubts, especially regarding the yellow container? Well, 78.6% of those who recycle say they always throw plastic bottles, cans or carafes in this container, 69.8% in the case of cartons and 66.4% do the same with tubs or containers. plastic yogurt cups. However, there are still residues, such as aerosols (37.1%) and white cork trays (42%) that are not completely identified with this container. For this type of last minute doubts, nothing like the application Air, a free bot that solves any dilemma related to recycling through text, voice and image.
There is no doubt that year after year the population’s commitment to the environment is increasing and it is positioned as relevant in the life of Spaniards, especially through habits such as recycling. This is demonstrated in the results of this study, which indicate, for example, that 93.3% of those surveyed affirm that they recycle because “they consider it important, even though others do not do it”, while 75.4% say “to do it with pride”. “At first it was almost an obligation, it was simply what had to be done, but it is true that now it has become a reason to be proud of my family,” says Alonso.
“The results of this study allow us to look to the future with optimism, working to take firm steps towards the circular economy, betting on reduction, reuse and recycling, assuming that recycling more and better is everyone’s responsibility,” he said. Nieves Rey, Director of Communication and Marketing at Ecoembes.