Recycling in La Caleta

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The initiative was part of a project to increase recycling and use of the yellow containers in bars and restaurants in the borough

Two restaurants in La Caleta, La Masía del Mar and Paquita Bello were winners of awards as part of the Aqui se recicla (We recycle here) platform, a joint Adeje council and Ecoembes initiative developed by the Canarian Sustainability and Green Environment Association. The aim of the programme is to increase recycling and use of the yellow containers in bars and restaurants in the borough.

The Adeje environment councillor Esther Rivero Vargas said, “with this pioneering programme in the Canaries Adeje is continuing to underline the importance of recycling. Since the introduction of this initiative we have seen a 30% increase in the use of the yellow containers in La Caleta, and it is the restaurants and businesses themselves that have actively participated by placing the containers in their premises.”

She added, “Adeje residents are very conscious of the need to recycle and in general levels of recycling in the borough are very positive, although the intention is to increase the practise even more”.

The winning establishments, La Masía del Mar, and a worker from Paquita Bello, demonstrated excellent levels of raising awareness of the need to separate rubbish and use the different containers properly. Overall 14 establishments participated in the programme.

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The Aqui se recicla initiative is a pioneering programme in the islands and for now is only being run in Adeje and San Bartolomé de Tirajana in Gran Canaria, the objective being to get restaurants directly involved in material separation and recycling into the yellow containers, with owners and workers in the participating restaurants directly involved.

There is a primary phase where restaurant staff are trained by the project leaders and are given mini yellow containers, special bags, and information materials. Then, over a six week period, there are a series of visits to help clarify any doubts or questions, help in the recycling and bring new containers or bags when needed.

According to Camren Martínez Dorta, president of the Canarian Sustainability and Green Environment Association, “the owners and employees of the restaurants in La Caleta have been very open to the idea and the level of participation has been remarkably high”.

The project is part of a regional plan to increase rubbish separation and recycling in the islands as a whole. Tinixara Mesa Moreno, a specialist from Ecoembes in the Canaries, said “each Canarian needs to be proud of their environment and want to care about how they deposit rubbish, making sure it’s properly separated and placed in the right containers. If we place the wrong items in the incorrect containers we undermine the good efforts of the rest, as every time that happens the process of recycling is halted”.

Ecoembes is a non-profit body which oversees the management of plastics, cans, and cartons (yellow containers) and cardboard and paper (blue containers) throughout Spain. During 2014 1.2 million tons of plastics, cartons, paper and cardboard were recycled in Spain, meaning a direct reduction in CO2 gas emissions , equivalent to the emissions of a quarter of cars registered in Madrid. This also led to a reduction in energy consumption of 3 million Mwh, equal to the annual energy consumption of 31% of smart phones in the country.

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