Valencia (Spain), Utrecht (Netherlands) and Alba Iulia (Romania) have been selected as pilot cities for the deployment of a number of waste collection, transport, sorting and recovery innovations that will facilitate progress towards a circular economy. Bearing in mind that 25.8 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year in the European Union and that only 29.7% of this is recycled, this project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Programme, focuses on plastic and more specifically on plastic packaging waste. PlastiCircle seeks to convert this waste into products that are useful for society.


The district of Sant Marcel·lí in Valencia is the scenario for the first PlastiCircle pilot study. From May to October of this year, residents can participate in this initiative, which aims to foster the recycling of light packaging, improve all stages of the collection of this waste (transport, sorting and recovery), and promote responsible consumption. In Valencia, the campaign to raise awareness of the PlastiCircle project has been christened “Supermarcelina”, the name of the heroine who invites young and older citizens to “close the loop”. In just four weeks, a total of 450 households have registered for the initiative, resulting in a total participation of over 1,200 people.

In the words of César Aliaga, head of the Sustainability Technology Group at ITENE and project coordinator, “in addition to the innovative solutions being developed in this four-year period, citizen participation and raising awareness of giving a second life to plastic waste are key elements of PlastiCircle”.

Technical infrastructure

In addition to the 25 smart devices, the yellow containers have also been fitted with fill-level sensors to provide information on when containers need to be emptied. These sensors transmit information every six hours and have very low energy consumption when not transmitting data, which enables a battery life of around four years.

Both the sensors and the smart devices transmit data through the LoRa communication system and four nodes have been installed in the district of Sant Marcel·lí for this purpose.

Meritxell Díaz
Media & Communications Coordinator at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Published in: Nº60 FuturENVIRO May 2019