In 2021, Electrão ensured the collection and recycling of more than 17 thousand tons of used electrical equipment, 703 tons of end-of-life batteries and more than 54 thousand tons of used packaging, far exceeding the values achieved in 2020.
Electrão, as an entity with increased responsibility in the management of end-of-life equipment, holding a 61,3% market share, guaranteed the collection and recycling of 17,083 tonnes of used electrical equipments in 2021, 2% more than in 2020, the year in which 16,702 tonnes were collected.
Of particular note is the amount of used electrical equipment collected from the own collection network, that represents 95% of the total collected and which reached, in 2021, 15,887 tonnes, 9% more than in 2020. Electrão innovated in 2021 by starting the door-to-door collection of large household appliances, in an unprecedented project that it promoted hand in hand with the Lisbon City Council. From July to December, 25.7 tonnes of end-of-life electrical equipment were collected and sent for recycling under the scope of this project alone. This pilot project started in three areas of Lisbon, but the adhesion was such that the initiative now encompasses 13 parishes. It is a response that guarantees more convenience for citizens, contributes to the fulfilment of the demanding targets set and, at the same time, continues the fight against the parallel market, which prevents many of these used appliances from being correctly recycled.
It was also with the fight against the misappropriation of equipment in mind that Electrão promoted, also in 2021, the WEEE Follow project. We put GPS on some appliances and realised that three out of every four used electrical appliances left by citizens on public roads for later collection by municipal services are diverted to the parallel market and do not reach the treatment units where they would be correctly decontaminated and recycled.
The results achieved in the WEEEFollow project have inspired a project that will be promoted on a national scale and extended to the remaining waste management entities.
The quantity of end-of-life batteries collected and sent for recycling by Electrão nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021. In 2020 we collected 346 tonnes of used batteries, and in 2021 we reached 703 tonnes, an increase of 103%.
The growth is particularly expressive in industrial batteries, which recorded an increase of 141% compared to the same period of the previous year, from 179 tonnes in 2020 to 455 tonnes in 2021. The collection of portable batteries increased by 34%, with 167 tonnes collected in 2020 and 248 tonnes collected in 2021.
This growth is related to the increase in collections due to the expansion of the collection network and the expansion of Electrão’s market share.
Electrão has been running a highly capillary collection and recycling system for batteries since 2020, which now allowed to deliver this exponential increase.
The number of collection points for electrical equipment and batteries grew by 23% in 2021. There are currently 5,553 collection points where it´s possible to deposit this type of used batteries. It is possible to find out where that places are by consulting the website Ondereciclar.pt, which was relaunched in 2021. This is a platform that indicates to consumers the nearest places where to deposit various types of waste. The new version of “Ondereciclar.pt”, with a new design, makes it easier to navigate the interactive map without having to enter the postcode.
In 2021 we also grew in the packaging waste stream ensuring that more than 54 thousand tonnes were sent for recycling, 9% more than the 50 thousand tonnes collected in 2020.
The beverage packaging deposit system will be one of the great challenges of used packaging management in the coming years. Electrão, with an 11% market share in this waste stream, has already started to prepare for this new reality by integrating projects such as “Mafra Reciclar a Valer +”, and the national pilot project.
In 2022, Electrão wants to continue to encourage habits that contribute to more sustainable lifestyles. It is this philosophy that guides all our awareness-raising, communication and education activities, which are reflected in the numerous campaigns we develop that reach out to multiple audiences. From Escola Electrão to Quartel Electrão, passing through TransforMAR, a campaign that is developed during the bathing season and which supports private social solidarity institutions. In the same way, we promote the work of extraordinary people, “big changers”, who stood out in the Faz Pelo Planeta Movement and, on social networks, we regularly disseminates examples of good practices.
We are aware that the environmental urgency we live in is no longer compatible only with the recycling, more needs to be done and this is a great challenge that awaits us. You have to divide up that R as many times as necessary: R to Reduce consumption; to Rethink behaviour; to Refuse what we do not need; to Reuse whenever possible…
At the same time, Electrão wants to guarantee to consumers and companies that they will continue to pay a competitive and fair cost of recycling with environmental quality. Electrão is proud to be at the innovation front line in order to deliver increasingly better results and ensure the fulfillment of its mission, contributing to the protection of the environment and human health.
General Manager of Electrão