In February 2018, the district of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, located in a historic part of Barcelona, introduced a door-to-door separate waste collection system as part of the Zero Waste Strategy of the municipality.
The project aims to minimise the quantity of waste sent to landfill and, more importantly, to involve citizens in order to make them aware of the fate of waste and the environmental and social consequences of a lack of separate waste collection. In its first phase, the new collection method will involve 8,500 inhabitants, but the intention is to expand this model in other neighbourhoods and eventually to the whole city of Barcelona, in order to bring recycling rate from the current 36% to 60%.
The information campaign already started last October, followed by the distribution of the tools necessary for convenient waste collection in households, such as bins and bags. For the separate collection of biowaste, the municipality will be distributing compostable biowaste bags during the first year. The biodegradable and compostable bags are made from MATER-BI and are industrial compostable according to the European standard EN 13432.
Biodegradable plastics help to collect more biowaste and to reduce contamination of other recycling streams by diverting organic waste to industrial composting or anaerobic digestion. Organic recycling is a well-established industrial process ensuring the circular use for biodegradable plastics while creating a strong secondary raw material market and opportunity for renewable energy generation. Numerous beacon projects throughout Europe demonstrate the positive effects of compostable bags on the efficiency and quality of separate organic waste collection, including in the cities of Milan, Munich, and Paris.