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The PlastiCircle approach officially launched on World Environment Day

5 June 2019

In the Valencian neighbourhood of Sant Marceŀlí (San Marcelino), press and local dignitaries gathered yesterday on 5 June for the official launch of the first PlastiCircle pilot initiative.

Since the neighbourhood pilot began in earnest one month ago, nearly 450 families in Sant Marceŀlí have signed up for the PlastiCircle pilot, under the local Valencian name ReciPlàstic.

Through an innovative “ecopoints” reward system, participants are incentivised for better household sorting of plastic packaging waste, and of course its disposal – which can be done at one of 25 yellow “smart containers” dotted around the district.

Yesterday’s official launch to local media, on World Environment Day, was an opportunity to spread the key messages of the PlastiCircle campaign in Valencia: that citizens can learn to recycle more and better whilst contributing to a circular economy, and of course to PlastiCircle’s innovative approach to the treatment of plastic packaging waste, converting it into added-value recycled products.

César Aliaga, PlastiCircle co-ordinator and head of sustainability at Valencia’s ITENE group, said: “Thanks to these smart containers we can go some way to improved recycling and a more circular economy – with the help of an ecopoints system that allows users to later claim for a variety of rewards.”

Aliaga added: “(This is) an initiative in which, at present, 446 families in the Sant Marceŀlí neighbourhood are participating, and I expect there will be more.”

The pilot initiative wouldn’t be possible without the active support of local residents, and specifically the local neighbourhood association. For the association’s president, Salvador González Bartual, the pilot is turning out to be a win-win initiative:

“We are a neighbourhood that gets very involved in recycling issues and we are showing it through strong participation (in this pilot). And thanks to the pilot, we are learning how to recycle more and better. The workshops being conducted with residents and in schools... everything helps.”

The pilot project will continue until the end of the summer. Residents who have registered for the scheme via the super hero-themed website can deposit their packaging waste in one of the 25 yellow containers in the neighbourhood. Each smart container has an innovative ticket dispenser that gives the user a unique bar code ID for their waste bag. This way, it is possible to identify how well each resident has been sorting their plastic waste. “Ecopoints” are then accrued by the user and claimed for rewards at a later date.

Valencia is the first of three innovative PlastiCircle pilots, all designed to roll out innovations in plastic waste collection, transport, sorting and recycling. The remaining pilots will be held in Utrecht (the Netherlands) from August, and in Alba Iulia (Romania) from the winter of 2019-2020.