Spain’s circular economy says ‘adiós’ to countryside and city waste
30 April 2020 | Mitigation
The common goal of Spain’s circular economy is to reuse waste, and this goal is manifesting itself in a number of diverse ways across the country.
This ambition is also something that is high on the EU’s agenda, and we have seen the introduction of incentives and regulations to help productive sectors become more climate-friendly and contribute to mitigating climate change, one of the priorities earmarked in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The challenges of a circular economy can vary widely from one place to another.
While cities are concerned with large amounts of organic waste and concentrated packaging in a concentrated area, in the countryside the focus is much more on the agriculture and livestock sectors, such as the management of slurry, lactic acid waste or residues from containers with pesticides.
The countryside in the Canary Islands, for instance, is looking towards promoting a more sustainable future, which is a fundamental pillar of the project “Agriculture is much more” (“Agricultura es mucho más”).
This nearly decade-old development initiative is designed to facilitate meetings between people working in the same sector and boost the exchange of by-products and transform “waste into agricultural resources”.
“This is a type of agriculture that pollutes less, consumes waste, takes pruning from vegetables and transforms it into compost. This is not agriculture of the 21st but of the 22nd century. It’s agriculture that is perfectly compatible with climate change, with sustainability,” said Rafael Hernández, president of agricultural organisation COAG-Canarias.
Thanks to the improved communication between herdsmen and farmers, they are now facilitating the creation of compost ‘tea’, a liquid extract which is highly nutritious for the soil, based on slurry or lactic acid leftovers from cheese factories, a popular product in the Canary Islands
By using the waste by-produce in this way, it also helps to regulate the water pH in plantations.
This interaction has enabled them to lower production costs and reduce water consumption, Hernández said.
Thanks to these methods, he added, they are able to improve the quality of the soil while using natural resources and consuming less water, especially important given that the lack of water resources is a widespread problem in the Canary Islands.