Spain is making progress in innovation and competitiveness, but needs to improve in waste reduction and recycling. About half of Spanish SMEs (46%) are aware of the benefits of the circular economy, a figure that varies by industry and improves as the size of the company grows. Despite this, small and medium-sized enterprises are gradually making progress in promoting this model, which is based on reuse, repair and recycling, and which helps to extend the useful life of any product. In this sense, the number of companies that adopt measures to reduce waste production is increasing (94.4%), as well as those that sell or transfer their waste to other companies so that they can use it (56 %). some or all of the waste they generate at source, especially paper and plastics, and those that turn to private managers to dispose of more polluting waste, such as scrap metal and oil.
These are some of the conclusions of the report “ Circular economy in SMEs in Spain ”, presented today by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and MAPFRE, and which shows that SMEs are also characterized, moreover in addition, through the use of secondary or recycled raw materials in their production processes (60%), mainly paper and cardboard (71.3%); and they are more committed to reducing the consumption of resources (80%), mainly of electricity and with the main objective of saving. Among the areas for improvement, the fact that SMEs continue to ignore green designs in their products stands out (21.1%), which is essential to increase the recycling rate; they do not eliminate single-use plastics as much as would be desirable (16.2%); and they do not believe they have to take any measures to recover and reuse water (88%), except for those in the industrial sector.
The study, the first in the field, analyzes the situation in Spain in 2019 and in the European Union, and explains the performance of SMEs today through a survey of 400 entities from all sectors.
Hospitality, the most committed
The hotel industry is clearly the sector in which companies take the most initiatives to prevent the production of waste and promote recycling, as well as the most active in terms of training and involvement of their employees and the requirement of environmental certificates from their suppliers. More specifically, the study highlights that nearly half of companies in this sector take specific actions to separate organic matter from other waste, an action that prevents it from decomposing in the environment and polluting. Bars and restaurants are also the ones that demonstrate the greatest commitment to eliminating single-use plastics (33%), those most committed to using return and return systems (20%) and those who have taken the lead. more initiatives to promote energy efficiency. .