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The reality of a local recycling plant: Basque Country

Analysis of the challenges and way of working of a local recycling plant: Actual working projects, challenges and unknown info.

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In my local recycling centre, they make more than 30tn of recycled materials per day.  It's about 6.000.000 of bottles per day.

The main 3 challenges are:

  • Non-PET materials are not recycled in this plant.
  • The caps are sold to another company, as they are HDPE, that is a good material to recycle, but not in the local factory.
  • Tags are usually made by another type of plastics (PVC or paper for example) and with a strong glue, what makes very difficult to quit them and recycle the bottle.


In this case, the bottle and the cap are 100% PET. This would be very easy to recycle, excepting on the sticker tag, because it uses a very strong glue that makes it hard to recycle.

From all the bottles that arrive at this plant, they get recycled grit that is used as a raw material to make plastic again.

How can be 100% recycled and reintroduced into the cycle? If the bottles were 100% pet, including cap and sticker tag, it would be easy to recycle.

How does this research relate to our Use Cases?

- The reality in a country about the possibility of recycling caps. - What are the challenges with other types of materials as coffee lids. - Metalic single-use sachets and tags: Why they can't be recycled.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

- Why is an easy thing to make things recyclable and we insist on making them with not recyclable materials?

Tell us about yourself

I'm a student, entrepreneur and intrapreneur, specialised in the circular economy and fighting for a more circular world. I am actually into fibres world but really willing to learn a lot and take part on this initiative. Thanks to my environment, the information about recycling is very close to me.


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Hi Adriana U!
There are 3 days left in the ideas phase of the circular design challenge! It would be great to see your ideas there, submit your idea via -

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