Spain transposed European Directive 94/62/EC into Packaging and Packaging Waste Act 11/97. This law states that there are two options for companies who place household packaging on the Spanish market: a Deposit and Return System, or joining an Integrated Management System (SIG).

Legal basis

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Packaging and Packaging Waste Law, April 1997

  • Definite targets for June 30th 2001: Recover between 50%-65%, of which 25%-45% is to be recycled. A minimum of 15% by material. Also, a 10% reduction of packaging weight.
  • Definite responsibility lies with packagers, producers, or suppliers. There are choices between, deposit, self-compliance, or membership in a compliance scheme (SIG).
  • Responsibility lies with the last possessor of commercial/industrial packaging waste, who has to deliver the packaging waste to an authorized recycler or recoverer. As an alternative commercial/industrial packaging can voluntarily participate in the SIG, provided that the Local Government handles its collection. 

Royal Decree, which sets forth the Law, 1998

  • Sets up the scope of the SIG: household packaging collected by Local Government.
  • Some companies (placing more than certain packaging material quantities on the market) must submit a Prevention Plan, which has to be approved by regional authorities.  These Plans can be prepared under certain conditions by the SIG.

Law, Royal Decree and Order which transposes Directive 2004/12/EC, 2006

  • New targets for December 31 2008: recover 60%, of which 55% has to be recycled. Minimum recycling targets: glass and paper-cardboard 60%; metals 50% plastics 22, 5% and wood 15%.

Facts and figures

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Data 2012


Population 47 mil.
No. of local authorities 8,116 municipalities

46.7 mil. inhabitants covered by system

No. of companies in system 12,051 companies licensed to ECOEMBES
2,582 companies licensed to ECOVIDRIO*
Packaging introduced to the market 7.4 million tons (2010) including wood, “other” materials, glass and commercial and industrial packaging
Recovered waste Household packaging
1,285 ktons + 683 ktons glass

– ECOEMBES (2012):
1,200 ktons recycled
85 ktons energy recovered

– ECOVIDRIO* (2012):
683 ktons glass recycled

Types of packaging Household packaging. Commercial and Industrial packaging is accepted under voluntary agreement provided that Local Entities collect it

*Selective collection of household glass packaging in Spain is handled by Ecovidrio, integrated management System similar to Ecoembes

Packaging organisation/s in Spain: