Environment Program projects that make a difference on Global Recycling Day

Environment Program projects that make a difference on Global Recycling Day

March 18th marks Global Recycling Day. The Environment Program presents some of its projects within the scope of deposit refund systems for beverage bottles and cans.

Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognize and celebrate the importance of recycling in preserving our resources and guaranteeing the future of our planet. According to information released by Eurostat, more than 5 tonnes of waste per capita are produced every year. Only 38% are recycled and more than 60% are sent to landfill.

The Environment Programme presents some of its projects that contribute to increasing the application of the principles of Circular Economy in production and consumption through the implementation of solutions for depositing plastic bottles and cans, reusing plastic bottles, solutions for use, treatment and recycling recycled plastic bottles and cans.


  • iREC

Promoter: Cascais E.M. S.A. Municipal Environment Company
Partners: Universidade Nova de Lisboa
EEA Grants financing: 655 149.97 €
Total Financing: 856 405.19 €

The iREC Project will implement a pilot scheme of incentives for recycling in Cascais, covering a population of 206,000 inhabitants and 1,200,000 tourists per year. This will be achieved through the installation of 10 "Reverse Vending Machines" (RVM) in the main commercial areas of the municipality. The incentive scheme will be centered on the "gamification" system, using applications that reward users for depositing plastic and glass beverage containers and aluminum cans in RVM through "city points".

Video about the project - Here


  • Bottle to Bottle

 Promoter: Ecoibéria- Reciclados Ibérios, S.A.
- Extrapolymers s. L.
- Sociedade da Água de Monchique, S.A.
EEA Grants financing: 695,861.31 €
Total Financing: 1 023 325.45 €

The Bottle to Bottle project is based on two complementary approaches: on the one hand, it is intended to provide Ecoiberia with a technologically advanced laboratory, so that PET flakes produced to detect potential contaminants and non-compliant materials can be tested, which they can place in causes safety standards.

On the other hand, a highly innovative technology will be introduced: laser flakes separator. This laser separation technology will allow a much faster, efficient and intelligent sorting of the plastic, saving time, avoiding human error and producing a continuous flow of flakes contaminated by non-PET plastic or non-compliant color for later recovery for production of food packaging and for the production of textile fiber.


  • REAP

Promoter: University of Aveiro
Partners: Infinitum AS
EEA Grants financing: 715 733.24 €
Total Financing: 935 599.00 €


The REAP project is based on the possibility that students and workers at the University of Aveiro can be reimbursed for each bottle or can returned. This return will be made on dedicated equipment and purchased within the scope of the project. The refund amount must be credited to the University of Aveiro Single Card, which is already associated with the institution's access and payment systems.

With a dedicated separation and with a lower degree of contamination, the product resulting from the collection is expected to have a higher quality and to see an increase in the selective collection of PET and aluminum.


  • Bebidas + Circulares

Promoter: Portuguese Association of Natural and Spring Mineral Water (APIAM)
- Portuguese Association of Non-Alcoholic Refreshing Drinks (PROBEB)
- Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED) 
EEA Grants financing:
764 619.80 €
Total Financing: 999 503.00 €


The project Bebidas + Circulares consists of the implementation of an incentive system with the attribution of a premium to the consumer for the return of bottles and non-reusable cans of beverages, with a view to their forwarding for recycling and the production of high quality recycled, compatible with the incorporation in the production of new beverage packaging, promoting the circularity of recovered materials (glass, plastic and cans). You can consult more information about the project on its website.

Video about the project - Here


  • Deposit system for non-reusable beverage packaging in the Azores

Promoter: Regional Directorate for the Environment
EEA Grants financing: 719 910.11 €
Total Financing: 941 058.97 €


The system for depositing non-reusable beverage packaging in the Azores consists of the purchase of 25 reverse logistics equipment, destined for the deposit of non-reusable beverage packaging, to be installed in the 9 islands of the Azores archipelago, due to the territorial dispersion and guaranteeing at least at least one piece of equipment per municipality.

Also noteworthy is the involvement of the three largest companies in the beverage industry based in the Azores and the participation of the Integrated Citizen Support Network (RIAC), through its 55 stores in all the islands.