The boom in the remanufacturing market is key to achieving the European Union’s circular economy targets

Spain may not reach European targets in terms of circular economy. This is according to the European Commission’s latest report, which warns that our country is at risk of not meeting the 2025 and 2035 targets for recycling and disposal of municipal solid waste – from households and businesses. The recycling rate was 36.4% (18.6 points below target) and landfill was 52% (more than double the European average).

“The first step to proper waste management is precisely to reduce the amount of waste we generate.”Explain Jacqueline Pistoulet, Country Director of SMAAART in Spain. The reconditioning market and the circular economy in general play a role in this fundamental, as they allow to extend the useful life of the products and thus reduce their environmental impact. “Only if a product cannot be reused should it be thrown away and the individual parts go into the correct recycling cycle.” Add to.

According to the European Union, Europeans generate on average 530 kilos of municipal waste per person each year, of which 23% (in the case of Spain 52%) ends up in landfills instead of being recycled or reused. To address this situation, the Circular Economy Foundation (FEC) launched the Anticipa project, which brings together different administrations and waste management bodies to monitor European data and implement new solutions in terms of waste prevention and management.

in his report Diagnosis and scenarios for meeting the municipal waste targets 2025, 2030-2035. “How to complete the goals without dying” The FEC is already proposing a total of 50 actions, divided into three axes (prevention and preparation for reuse, selective collection, and recycling and disposal) to reverse the current figures. “The first challenge we face as a society is to reduce the amount of waste generated. To do this we must act at source, in the design and production phase, in the distribution and sale phase, and finally in the phase of use and consumption. Public policies must focus on promoting and supporting mitigation, reuse, reprocessing and upgrading, and recyclability in collaboration with the private sector.”emphasize them.

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Processing of electronic waste

According to the United Nations Environment Program, around 50 million tons of e-waste are generated worldwide every year. This type of waste is among the most harmful to the planet, as up to 75 extremely polluting elements such as arsenic, lead, nickel, mercury and zinc are used in the manufacture of a single smartphone.

“According to the United Nations, 120 million tons of e-waste could be generated by 2050 due to difficult waste management.”Explain Jacqueline Pistoulet, Country Manager of SMAAART in Spain. “To deal with this situation, remanufacturing helps to get the most out of these already depleted resources, so much so that for every mobile device refurbished by SMAAART, the emission of 52 kg of CO2 is saved, the extraction of 164 kg of raw materials and the use of 56m3 of water”Add to.

In 2022, SMAAART managed to give a second or third life to more than 134,000 devices at its factory in the south of France, achieving a 24% increase in sales compared to the previous year. The refurbished market is becoming increasingly established in Spain and is already showing an annual growth rate of 10.3%, according to the consultancy IDC, which shows that we are about to change consumer habits.

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