Machines that reward recycling begin to be deployed in Spain

The first 10 machines have been installed at railway stations in Catalonia. By recycling cans and plastic beverage bottles in these machines, it is possible to win prizes ranging from electric scooters to train tickets, in addition to contributing to social causes. Before the end of the year, 100 machines will be installed at public transport stations and shopping centres in different parts of Spain to help citizens recycle this type of packaging outside their homes. These machines are part of RECICLOS, the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) developed by Ecoembes which also works with the yellow containers in municipalities in six Autonomous Communities.

From today, Spain has machines in operation which will provide rewards each time they are used to recycle cans and plastic beverage bottles. When citizens deposit these items in the machines, not only will they be ensuring that they are recycled and helping to give them a second life, but they will also be able to obtain rewards that foster sustainable transport. Each time they recycle, they will be able to participate in raffles that enable them to obtain prizes ranging from train tickets to electric scooters, in addition to contributing to social causes in order to help their communities, through donations to entities such as the Food Banks.

The first 10 machines are already up and running at a number of train stations in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, thanks to collaboration between Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC) and Ecoembes, and a further five will be installed in the coming weeks. Before the end of the year, these machines will be deployed in public transport stations, and shopping and leisure centres in more regions of the country. A total of 100 machines will be installed prior to the end of the year, thus enabling citizens to recycle containers consumed outside the home, and obtain social and environmental rewards by doing so.   

These machines represent another step in the growth of the RECICLOS project, a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), developed by Ecoembes, the non-profit organisation that coordinates packaging recycling in Spain. RECICLOS is already in operation using the yellow containers, which have been fitted with technology to enable citizens to use their mobile phones to recycle and obtain rewards in 21 municipalities located in six Autonomous Communities.  

How the machines work.

Using the RECICLOS machine is very easy: citizens only have to connect to the webapp, scan the barcode of the container they wish to recycle, deposit it in the machine and scan the QR code that appears on the screen. By doing so, they will obtain points called RECICLOS, which can be exchanged for the different rewards on offer.

With the incentives received for recycling in the machines, citizens can choose between fostering sustainable transport or contributing to other causes of a social nature, in order to help their communities.

RECICLOS is already up and running through the yellow containers in several municipalities in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Region of Murcia, La Rioja and Aragón.  It is envisaged that the initiative will go into operation in all the Autonomous Communities of Spain during 2021.