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Resource Efficiency

Portugal commits to increase recycling and divert 20% of waste from landfill


The Portuguese Government has announced its intention to invest €320 million in a plan to improve its recycling rates and divert 20% of its waste from landfill by 2020. The country’s Strategic Plan for Municipal Solid Waste (PERSU) 2020 was presented at a launch event in Lisbon and introduces a number of targets and incentives that will help improve resource efficiency in the country. Read more…

The waste plan, announced by the Department of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, is based on a detailed analysis of 23 waste management systems already in operation throughout Portugal. One of its main objectives is to strike a balance between environmental improvement and financial cost. The incentives detailed in the plan are based around alignment of objectives considering waste systems, companies, investors and members of the public.

The €320 million budget includes funds from the European Union. The Portuguese capital, Lisbon, and the city of Porto will receive a greater share of the investment as they are the cities that currently generate the highest amounts of waste. Among the targets set are a 20% decrease in landfilling and an increase to 53% in selective waste collections to meet an annual recycling rate of 47 kilograms per capita by 2020.

The Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, Jorge Moreira da Silva, highlighted that waste management was strategic area for the country and that treating waste as a resource was a European trend that Portugal should follow. The Minister also described PERSU 2020 as an innovative plan that would allow cost-efficient investment, using a formula similar to the one already applied to the energy sector.

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