Crisis and collapse

Jul 31, 2020 | Uncategorized

Waste companies and environmentalists warn of crisis and collapse in the recycling sector.

Sociedade Ponto Verde stopped paying for packaging collection, as it says that it cannot bear the costs due to the new rules for the sector. Companies and environmentalists warn of the consequences of this decision.

Waste collection and treatment companies and environmental associations warn of risks in the recycling sector in Portugal. The notices come after Sociedade Ponto Verde announced that it would stop paying for the collection and sorting of recyclable packaging.

In reaction to this decision, the waste sector came to warn of the “imminent crisis” in the resumption of packaging and “to express its concern and alert to the serious consequences of this decision”.

“As entities responsible for the sector, we cannot help expressing indignation and high concern for the consequences of the announced decision”, can be read in the statement released this Monday, March 20th, by the Association for Waste Management (ESGRA), the Empresa Geral de Fomento (EGF) and Tratolixo, the company responsible for waste management in Cascais, Mafra, Oeiras and Sintra.

“Without the resumption of packaging from separate collection, companies in the sector will not have storage capacity, putting the safety of people and installations at risk by overloading the stored material, which without an alternative to reintegration into the system, will have as its final destination landfill, contrary to European guidelines at this level ”, underline the companies responsible for collecting and separating recycled waste and then delivering it to Sociedade Ponto Verde.

This Monday there will be a meeting at the Ministry of the Environment between Sociedade Ponto Verde, waste companies and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Carlos Martins, to try to overcome this standstill.

The environmental association Quercus also warned of the risk of “collapse” in the recycling sector. “The lack of regulations at the time, of procedures for returning separate packaging and the definition of ecovalues for packers will cause the collapse in the functioning of the Integrated Packaging Waste Management System (SIGRE).” Quercus had already asked for them to be regulatory procedures are ensured, as well as an adaptation period for this phase of change, from the transition from a management entity to a plural market.

The association stresses that the lack of an adaptation period for the entry of Novo Verde and the creation and implementation of new rules “shows that the system with the absence of rules has collapsed before it even started”.

“Quercus holds the Ministry of Environment responsible for this situation, which has been warned several times about this problem, and calls for urgent action to implement the adaptation to the new competitive model, so as not to jeopardize the continuity of selective collection and sorting of packaging waste ”, can be read in the press release.

Sociedade Ponto Verde announced on Friday that it would stop paying for packaging waste, which is collected and sorted by municipalities and companies. At the beginning of this year, the new licenses for the sector came into force, and from now on there will be two companies in this sector: Sociedade Ponto Verde and Novo Verde, 30% owned by the owner of Pingo Doce, Jerónimo Martins.

SPV says that it is the only entity currently financing the Integrated Packaging Waste Management System (SIGRE) and that in the “absence of an adequate adaptation period to the new competitive model” it has caused “the creation of exceptional financial needs”.

To cope with this increase, he proposed to the Portuguese Environment Agency an increase in the Ponto Verde Values “in order to face the increased costs, as well as to make possible the continuity of the selective collection and sorting system”. But the SPV proposal was not accepted by APA, despite its “transitory and urgent nature”, which led Ponto Verde to decide to stop paying for the collected and sorted packaging.

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