The first non-reusable plastic packaging collection machine, fully financed by commercial establishments, was inaugurated on April 11th in Porto Santo, Madeira Autonomous Region, and brings with it a reward system that aims to encourage the local community to recycle.
With the aim of bridging the gaps in membership of private establishments in these state-funded recycling systems and thus minimising the impact of improper disposal of plastic materials, the first PET packaging collection machine fully funded by commercial establishments was inaugurated.
The machine, strategically placed in the Pingo Doce shop in Vila Baleira, municipality of Porto Santo, has a reward system for its users, thus encouraging the local community to recycle. For each PET container deposit, users receive discount vouchers to be used later in local shops and restaurants.
The initiative arose from the “Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho” (Porto Santo without Marine Debris) project, which aims to radically reduce the volume of disposable plastics used, namely through communication campaigns directed at all interested parties.
Ângela Morgado, Executive Director of ANP|WWF, Non-Governmental Environment Organization, explains that “this is an innovative system in the national context”. She adds that the initiative allows “working in direct contact with the local community and with the commercial establishments of Porto Santo, ensuring co-responsibility in reducing the use and increasing the recycling of plastic waste, which has greatly contributed to pollution in the Madeira Archipelago.
Also for Sofia Lopes, Project Manager at AIDGLOBAL, this initiative is of “extreme importance, not only because it promotes accessible ways of recycling plastic packaging, but also because it makes the local population aware of the recognition of marine litter as one of the biggest current environmental problems”, she concludes.
In his turn, Nuno Filipe Melim Batista, Mayor of Porto Santo, says that this is a permanent fight of the Madeiran city: “We want Porto Santo to remain in the front line to stop the escape of plastic into the Ocean. We all have a responsibility to contribute to the reduction of single-use plastic and our municipality has a huge concern to ensure the best practices to preserve the biodiversity of the island of Porto Santo and the Ocean that surrounds it”.
To make this possible, several awareness-raising actions were carried out among the population living in Porto Santo and a Community Management Plan until 2025 was defined, which is crucial for the management and reduction of marine litter originating in this island.
The “Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho” (Porto Santo Without Marine Waste) project is co-financed by the Environment Program of the EEA Grants and promoted by Associação Natureza Portugal, in partnership with WWF Portugal, AIDGLOBAL, ARM – Água e Resíduos da Madeira, S.A., the Municipality of Porto Santo and the MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre in Madeira, hosted by ARDITI. It also has the support of WWF Norway and the Secretariat for Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change of the Regional Government of Madeira.