GMI promoting the Green Economy in the Mediterranean starting from Catalonia


Date(s) - 09/03/2015 - 13/03/2015

16 Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) have been placed in 3 Universities in Catalonia to valorize waste products.

The RVMs will also be deployed in Egypt, Italy, Lebanon and Tunisia in the coming few months.

As of this week, students and staff from the 3 universities of Barcelona will have the opportunity to use the GMI RVMs in order to recycle plastic bottles and beverage cans, and in return they will win points, discounts and different valuable prizes.
The GMI project is funded by the EU under the ENPI CBC Med Programme, with the aim to develop an integrated and environmentally sound waste management system, ensuring treatment and recycling, through exploitation of innovative technologies and sustainable methods for waste treatment and recycling.

The ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme 2007/2013 has launched the Green MED Initiative (GMI) project in December 2012.The project is managed by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIA-BML) in partnership with 11 Mediterranean organizations from 6 Euro-MED countries: Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Tunisia, France and Spain, the majority of which are ASCAME members.

Catalonia consumes 9 million beverage containers daily, of which 3.5 million are selectively collected for recycling; with the rest being dumped, burned or scattered around.
The initiative is an attempt to encourage the young minds of the future to not only be environmentally responsible, but to also engage in a first-hand experience with the environmental services industries.

Under the slogan: “There is no planet B, Recycle! ASCAME, the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce (CCB) and FUNDITEC are participating in the Green Med Initiative (GMI) project offering students the opportunity to reduce their ecological impact and return single-use beverage containers.

In Catalonia the project is undertaken with the support of the 3 universities in which the 16 RVMs have been placed: ELISAVA School of Design, the University of Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. The RVMs have been deployed in close coordination with ASCAME, CCB, FUNDITEC, CCIA-BML and Averda who ensured the technical set up, testing, and implementation.

In Spain, the project is also conducted in collaboration with Retorna; a nonprofit organization specialized in the promotion of recycling. The RVMs will issue a ticket with points reflecting the number of empty containers inserted. Students will accumulate points and enter in a monthly draw.

Gifts will include raffle tickets; concert tickets (Primavera Sound, Sonar, and Cruïlla); theater & cinema tickets (Grec, Filmoteca, TNC) vouchers (Abacus Cooperative Consumer Solidarity Network) and tablets, which will be announced each month.

This pilot initiative aims to be a step towards packaging return system that will allow to triple current levels of selective recycling.

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