Having collated data from the nation’s regional governments it says that 787,059 tons of the material were dumped in landfill and another 172,293 tons were incinerated in 2016.
Another 282,560 tons was exported for disposal, with, according to Greenpeace “no full guarantee that they will be recycled.”
These figures are in contrast to figures from the Ministry of Ecological Transition, which says 38 per cent of plastic packaging is recycled. Official figures for all light packaging including paper and cardboard (collected in the blue and yellow bins) says 77 per cent is recycled.
Launching a report called Maldito Plástico: reciclar no es suficiente, (Damn plastic: recycling is not enough) the head of Greenpeace’s plastics campaign, Julio Barea, the coordinator of the organisation’s Consumer Affairs Area, Celia Ojeda, and Jesus Perez, a waste expert, explained that their figures are based on an average of the data provided by the autonomous communities and municipalities.
They denounced the lack of reliable data, saying: “We believe that it is done on purpose so as not to remedy a pressing and global problem” They warned that recycling is presented as a panacea when the real solution is to stop the one-use throw away culture of manufacturers and distributors.