Ecoembes

Is Ecoembes authorized as a SIG manager throughout all of Spain?

Yes, in every autonomous community. The permits are requested from the relevant authorities in each autonomous community, where they undergo an approval process. Once a permit is granted, it is valid for five years, after which it must be renewed.

In addition to being a tool through which companies comply with their legal obligations, does Ecoembes work to minimize the environmental impact of packaging?

At Ecoembes we encourage and push for prevention. Ecoembes member companies have been working for more than 10 years to minimize the environmental impact of the packaging they market to make it more sustainable. Since 1999 the packaging industry has implemented over 21,000 measures to, among other things, use recycled material, eliminate certain elements and reduce the weight of packaging.

Is the cost of the Green Dot paid by packaging companies a tax or tariff?

It is not a tax or tariff. It is a payment for rendering a service made by the packaging member company into the SIG (run by Ecoembes) for the recovery of the packaging waste, as required by the Packaging Law.

What does the Green Dot symbol mean?

The Green Dot, visible on all packaging handled by the SIG, is an environmental information seal. It means that the company responsible for the packaged product is in compliance with the Packaging Law through its membership in Ecoembes and contributes financially to its management.

What does it mean for Ecoembes to be a non-profit company by law?

Given our status as a non-profit company, at Ecoembes we are required to devote all of our income to achieving the recycling and recovery targets laid out in the Packaging Law. To this end, at Ecoembes we have a legal obligation to finance the selective pick-up costs for local and regional governments. There are thus no profits, with any excess income going into the following year’s budget.

What is its income used for?

As required by law, all income at Ecoembes is used for the sole purpose of covering the costs that local entities (town and provincial councils, groups of municipalities, etc.)  incur for selectively picking up light packaging (plastic and metal packaging and cartons) and paper and cardboard packaging. In other words, the costs of the yellow and blue containers, the trucks and the employees who collect the waste, the treatment plants where it is sorted, and so on.

How is Ecoembes financed?

At Ecoembes we are financed by the contributions of member companies, which file an annual Packaging Declaration where they indicate the amount and type of packaging materials they put on the market, based on which they pay an amount toward the Green Dot system.

Who makes up Ecoembes?

Our organization was created in 1996 and the SIG that we manage currently has over 12,200 member companies. Our shareholders consist of 57 companies and business associations from every sector in the packaging supply chain, from manufacturers and packagers to distributors, raw material manufacturers and recyclers.

What is the SDDR?

The Deposit and Return System (SDDR in Spanish) is an alternative to the SIG contained in the Packaging Law. This system means that those responsible for putting packaged products on the market charge their customers a deposit for each container. They must also accept the return or deposit of the used packaging and packaging waste, refunding the same amount that was deposited when the product was purchased.

What is the SIG?

The Packaging Law specifies that the purpose of Integrated Management Systems (SIG in Spanish) is to periodically collect used packaging and packaging waste at or near the consumers’ homes and to ensure compliance with the recycling and recovery targets set out in the Law. Packaging companies that are members of a SIG are exempt from creating their own SDDR.

What exactly does the Packaging Law require?

The Law requires the packagers and retailers of packaged products, or when these cannot be identified, those responsible for first putting a product on the market, to assume responsibility for the packaging when it becomes waste. To this end the Law offers them two options: set up a Deposit and Return System (SDDR) or join an Integrated Management System (SIG).

What is the mission of Ecoembes?

Our mission is to comply with the legal requirements in effect in Spain and the European Union intended to prevent and reduce the impact that packaging has on the environment. We are a solid and effective tool and provide a guarantee for packaging companies to comply with their obligations.

Is this initiative exclusive to Spain?

No, there are similar systems in over 30 countries, most in the European Union, which work in the same way as the system in place in Spain.

What is Ecoembes?

We are an organization that coordinates the selective pick-up and recovery of light packaging (plastic, metal and cartons) and paper and cardboard packaging in Spain for its subsequent recycling. Behind Ecoembes are more than 12,200 companies that market packaged products and that, thanks to their commitment, make it possible for people to recycle their packaging in the yellow and blue containers located close to their homes.