19th Recovery and Recycling Congress and 4th European Recycling Conference

19º Congreso de la Recuperación y el Reciclado y 4th European Recycling Conference

“The main players in recovery are the recycling sector companies. It is not, therefore, a question of strengthening the public sector, but of guaranteeing private activity”: Mariano González, Deputy Regional Minister for the Environment and Agriculture of the Autonomous Community of Madrid

The 19th Spanish National Recovery and Recycling Congress and the 4th European Recycling Conference, co-organised by the Spanish Federation of Recovery and Recycling (FER) and the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC), took place alongside each other yesterday in Madrid.

Over 500 registered attendees were present at the IFEMA trade fair centre for an event which brought together the two largest congresses on recovery and recycling in Europe for the first time. The event combined the participation of the leading experts in the field with the latest breakthroughs in machinery and technology for the transformation of waste into resources, currently being showcased at the International Trade Fair for Recovery and Recycling (SRR).

In his inaugural speech, Hugo Morán, Secretary of State for the Environment, stressed the need to change the current pattern of consumption, “which is behind the main environmental problems we are currently facing: depletion of resources; water, soil and air pollution; waste accumulation; degradation of ecosystems; loss of biodiversity and global warming”. “In such a scenario, with increasingly visible consequences, and bearing in mind world population growth and the associated increase in the consumption of resources, commitment to the circular economy is vital”, he pointed out.

In his inaugural opening speech, Mariano González, Deputy Regional Minister for the Environment and Agriculture of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, expressed his gratitude for “the efforts of the recycling sector during the months of the pandemic, when the sector demonstrated that it is an essential resource”.

The Deputy Regional Minister highlighted the fact that the main actors in recovery “are the recycling sector companies”. Therefore, “it is not a question of strengthening the public sector, but of guaranteeing well-regulated private activity in order to achieve decarbonisation”. To this end, “the regulatory framework we are working on in the Autonomous Community of Madrid is a circular economy law with an innovative and reformist approach based on public-private partnership. Our hope is that this legislation will be passed before the end of the current term of office “.

In his inaugural speech at the congress, Ion Olaeta, President of FER, pointed out that the future of recyclers “is at stake right now in Europe, due to the fact that the main policies are being dictated from Brussels”. “Decisions that seem very distant to us will eventually have an impact on our day-to-day work and on our profit and loss account”, he predicted. “Proof of this “is the new Waste and Contaminated Land for a Circular Economy Act, published last April, which is the result of a 2018 reform of the Waste Framework Directive”.

“It is a source of pride for us to have brought together at this event many of the main representatives of our industry, from the institutional, academic and business fields, particularly in a year in which we are celebrating our 40th anniversary” he concluded.