- In 2021, we had an increase of more than 8% compared to 2020, with more than 470 thousand tons of packaging waste collected.
- Plastic was the material that contributed the most to this growth, with a total change of 18% compared to the previous year.
- Glass recycling registered more than 10 thousand tons compared to 2020, an increase of 6%.
Novo Verde, the packaging waste compliance system that started competing in the sector in Portugal in 2017, points out that 2021 was characterized by consumer participation in waste sorting, which led to an increase in packaging recycling of about 8.2%, equivalent to about 36 thousand tons more than the previous year.
In general, all packaging materials on the market – glass, plastic, paper/cardboard and metal – recorded an increase in recycling compared to 2020 – with glass and plastic standing out the most, with about 205 thousand tons (+6%) and 90 thousand tons (+18%) collected last year.
In addition to the peak of plastic packaging recycled by the Portuguese in 2021, it is worth mentioning that packaging materials destined for the yellow garbage can have increased by 16% compared to 2020. In addition to plastics, the Portuguese recycled 18.7% more ECAL – cardboard packaging for liquid food – and on average 10% more metal packaging, a category that includes steel (+8.7%) and aluminium (+32.2%).
Ricardo Neto, president of Novo Verde, points out that “the last two years, whose health and social context we are all aware of, have also been characterized by a positive change in packaging recycling behaviour, an important step towards achieving the targets, which will increase exponentially by 2022. Therefore, every effort will be made to raise awareness. In the coming year, Novo Verde will further deepen all efforts to support the change of Portuguese habits and behaviours regarding the correct disposal of packaging for recycling and recovery.”
It should also be mentioned that the recycling of cardboard and paper packaging has reached about 141 thousand tons, 5% more than in 2020.