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Report for Spain

Spain’s plastics recycling sector has responded to all the challenges thrown at it in recent times, overcoming the crisis caused by the COVID pandemic, the increase in raw material/energy costs and tensions in global supply chains.

And today we can proudly say that Spain, with 1.4 million tons of plastic processed in recycling plants in 2021, has the EU’s second-largest recycling capacity, surpassed only by Germany with more than 2 million tons. This is according to the study “Informe sectorial del plástico en España” carried out by marketAAD and CEP (Centro Español de Plásticos) for Equiplast.

This capacity is expected to continue growing thanks to: a Euro 300 million economic stimulus plan for strategic industries towards the development of a circular economy; and legislative advances such as the creation of a tax on single-use plastics, extended producer responsibility legislation for industrial and commercial packaging waste, and end-of-waste status for recycled plastic materials to promote the market for secondary raw materials necessary for a circular economy.

Growth forecasts are good. However, it is worth noting here that regulatory developments are focused on packaging; although this sector is the largest, use of plastics in the automotive and construction sectors should not be forgotten in the bid to create a more consistent plastics recycling market.