Promoter: Empresa Municipal de Ambiente de Cascais E.M. S.A.


- New University of Lisbon

EEA Grants: 655 149,97€

Total Amount: 856 405,19€


Recycling levels remain low in Portugal, below the targets set for 2020, 2025 and 2030, highlighting the importance of addressing the existing barriers to recycling. This can be addressed through the design of innovative incentive schemes which motivate and involve the society in recycling activities. Some such schemes have already been implemented in other settings; however, lack of effective monitoring and analysis of project results prevents adequate tests to their effectiveness and the implementation of informed public policies.

iREC will address the challenges mentioned above through an innovative approach to the management of single-use containers, bringing together, towards that end, an experienced team of retailers, collection services, research centers and companies in the waste sector.

Firstly, a pilot scheme for the introduction incentives to recycling will be implemented in Cascais, thus covering a population of 206,000 inhabitants and 1,200,000 tourists per year. This will be achieved by setting up 10 "Reverse Vending Machines" (RVM) in the main commercial spaces in the municipality (hyper and supermarkets, shopping centres and the municipal market). The incentive scheme will be based on a "gamification" system, making use of applications which award users for depositing plastic and glass beverage containers and aluminium cans in RVMs with "city points" (which can be converted into various services, such as bus and museum tickets). In order to guarantee large-scale adherence to the incentives scheme, the project will devise and implement a communication plan specifically designed to achieve that goal.

Secondly, the project will test the effect of the incentives scheme on selective collection rates, thus contributing with valuable and unprecedented knowledge which will support decision-making and the transition to the new recycling system, mandatory from 2022 onwards.