VALENCIA has become the first city in Spain to set up an automatic reward system for recycling plastic bottles and cans at all yellow containers.

In keeping with the European Union’s aim of recycling at least 65% of all packaging waste by 2025, Valencia has installed the technology known as Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) to offer ‘sustainable or social rewards’ to users.

Under the agreement reached by Valencia City Hall and national refuse treatment company Ecoembes, more than 790,000 residents will benefit from using the more than 3,500 yellow containers dotted about the city.

Users connect to the Reciclos app, scan with their phone the barcode of the tins or plastic containers to be recycled, and deposit the rubbish in the container.

They will then obtain points to be exchanged for incentives promoting sustainable transport, social and environmental projects such as donations to their local Red Cross branch to protect biodiversity and prevent forest fires.

Reciclos recyling reward scheme
A recent presentation of the Reciclos scheme

However, the point system has a weekly limit to encourage users to buy less plastic and consume products more responsibly.

Reciclos also aims to promote circular economy by reusing the containers and giving them a new lease of life.

The project fits in with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – part of the Agenda 2030 to, among many other goals, drastically reduce the generation of rubbish.

Reciclos is expected to be launched throughout Spain this year.

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