26 Nov, 2020 @ 13:30
1 min read

Spain to introduce ‘slot machines’ that reward people for recycling bottles and cans

Reciclos_barcelona_1 1

RECYCLING in Spain is about to become rewarding, literally.

Following successful trials in Catalonia, national waste management company Ecoembes is setting up ‘yellow slot machines’ for recycling bottles and cans, complementing their yellow bin scheme for aluminium and plastics.

There are currently 10 railway stations that have the machines, all of them in the Barcelona metropolitan area, but Ecoembes plans to install a total of 100 by the end of 2020.

Reciclos_barcelona 1
PROUD: Ecoembes presenting the scheme in Barcelona

To use the slot machines, which are called RECICLOS, you have to download the Reciclos app and use the QR code on there to collect credits.

These can then be redeemed for rewards, including discounts on public transport, or the chance to win prizes such as an electric bicycle.

Or if you’re feeling altruistic, you can convert the credits into donations for non-governmental organisations such as Medicos Sin Fronteras (Doctors without borders), which has received €2000 through the scheme this year, or use them to contribute to improvements in your municipality like the creation of playgrounds from recycled materials.

However, there is a cap on what you can do, as stacking up endless credits is not allowed. While this is apparently to discourage people from consuming more drinks in cans and plastic bottles, the reasoning ignores the success of similar schemes elsewhere in Europe.

Reciclos_barcelona_1 1
REWARDING: Recycling bottles. Images from Ecoembes.com

In Germany and Norway, for example, people can feed their bottles and cans into machines at supermarkets for cash.

The ease of this system has contributed to both countries having impressively high collection and recycling rates for PET plastic bottles. As of 2015, Germany had a 94% collection rate, in comparison to Spain’s 60% and the UK’s 53%, and the recycling rate in Norway as of two years ago was a staggering 97%.

Nonetheless, it is a big step forward for Spain and the fight to reduce plastic waste.

Laurence Crumbie

Laurence Crumbie is a writer from the UK based in Estepona. Before joining the Olive Press he worked as a freelance travel journalist in Myanmar, where he lived for two years.
When he isn't planning his next intrepid trip, Laurence is hunting for great green stories, especially local ones, or writing features for the La Cultura section.
If you have a story, please contact him at [email protected].

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Son Banya
Previous Story

12 arrested in connection to brutal stoning of police officers in drug riddled estate in Spain’s Mallorca

Pjimage   2020 11 26t133354 846
Next Story

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Destructive’ electricity pylons will NOT be built in stunning Alpujarra valley in Spain’s Granada thanks to grass roots movement and Olive Press campaign

Latest from Environment

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press