ECOEMBALAJES ESPAÑA, S.A. (ECOEMBES) was founded by Spanish industry and trade in order to develop an Integrated Management System (SIG) to implement this legislation, and already boasts more than 12,051 member companies, having signed agreements with 107 local and regional authorities.

The purpose of Ecoembes is to run, in collaboration with local and regional governments, system for selective collection of household lightweight and paper-cardboard packaging waste for subsequent treatment and recovery in order to fulfill the legal recovery and recycling targets in the most environmental and economical efficient way. Besides, Ecoembes provides its licensed companies with technical support in prevention and R&D in order to minimize the impact of packaging waste and make better use for materials.

System Description

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Here you can find the official guide of Ecoembes, which will explain the following aspects:

  • Mission, values and obligations of the nonprofit organization.
  • How to comply with the Spanish packaging regulation.
  • The green dot symbol guarantees the company’s compliance with Law 11/97 on the packaging.
  • What packaging must be declared.



The best waste is the waste that is not produced. This idea should encourage us to defend, as a society, a reduction in the use of non-renewable raw materials, thus promoting responsible consumption. In collaboration with companies and manufacturers, TheCircularLab works in the field of eco-design, identifying new sustainable materials and incorporating recycled components into production processes with the aim of minimizing the environmental footprint of future packaging. In this sense, the lab’s mission is to validate the integral design ofthe  packaging – its recyclability, sustainability,and  intelligence – as well as its impact on the citizen, eco-labeling and user experience.


Ongoing projects:


Bio-bio plastic:

Packaging of the Future Observatory:

Communication activities

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Ecoembes is going to develop a number of activities in order to encourage the social conscience about packaging of waste:

  • Ecoembes has realized more of 300 awareness communication campaigns for the different Regions and Local authorities to have a wide and complete method of communication to make their citizens aware of the selective withdrawal and the recycling of packaging. The “Impropios” campaign aims to drive the reduction of improper materials deposited erroneously in a yellow container with the intention of increasing the quality of the selective withdrawal and to make possible a global improvement of the recycling of packaging.
  • Environmental Education Activities in the Schools. Every year we meet with up to 700,000 children with the principal aim to teach them to respect their environment and encourage them to do the right thing in order to move our society towards working to a more sustainable planet.
  • Ecoembes is also aware that it is necessary to take actions in order to make our citizens conscious about the importance of recycling packaging by means of the diffusion of information across the different channels of communication, including the blogs, social networks, Ecoembes’s web site and institutional relation with the mass media. As an example we emphasize the I Edition R Prizes, an initiative to reward the effort of companies, mass media, investigators, administration and citizens in general in favour of recycling and sustainability initiatives.




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Packaging waste cycle:


1. Design

The design of containers and packaging, or “packaging” design, aims to ensure that the packaging meets the requirements of the product it accompanies and how it should satisfy them. These requirements or functions can be classified into technical (conservation, protection, handling, dosage…), logistic (dimensions, channel, type of transport, storage, environmental conditions, commercial (dosage, differentiation, cost, target public…) and legal (technical-sanitary aspects, information obligations…). There are companies specialized in industrial design and manufacturing companies usually have specialized teams.

2. Manufacturing

Packaging manufacturing could be defined as the transformation of raw material into a packaging element since a package is usually composed of different elements (bottle or flask, cap or closure, label, grouping elements…). Packaging manufacturing processes are very complex and diverse and depend on both the material and the final application, so they are usually carried out in specialized facilities. Companies specialized in the manufacture of packaging are usually called manufacturers or converters.

3. Packaging

Packaging a product consists of conditioning it to satisfy the functions defined in the packaging design phase. To package a product, different actions are normally necessary (stocking, filling, closing, labeling, grouping, palletizing…) and use different elements (bottles, cans, jars, boxes, films, pouches, caps, lids, labels…) which can be made of different materials (plastics, metals, paper/cardboard, glass, wood…). Companies that use packaging to market their products may be called packagers.

4. Distribution

The distribution of packaged products consists of a whole series of necessary actions (transport, storage, repackaging, picking, replenishment, stock control…) to get these products from the place where they are manufactured to the final consumer through various channels. Trading or distribution companies may be called distributors.

5. Consumption

This can be defined as the action that occurs when the packaged product fulfills the function for which it was manufactured, although it is usually also associated with the act of selling the product. Generally, except in the case of reusable packaging, the result is that the packaging has finished fulfilling the functions for which it was designed and generates packaging waste to be managed. In the case of household packaged products, the consumers are the citizens themselves.

6. Separation

Waste separation, also called contribution, can be defined as the amount of packaging waste that citizens separate into different types (plastic packaging, cans and briks for yellow, paper and cardboard packaging for blue, glass packaging for green…) and deposit appropriately in the means provided for their subsequent selective collection (containers, bins, waste garbage cans, etc.).

It is normally defined in terms of kg per inhabitant per year and is one of the main indicators of the level of performance of selective collection. In the case of household packaging waste, it is the citizens who are responsible for the correct separation.

7. Collection

The selective collection of packaging waste is the set of actions and means that make it possible to take this type of waste from the point of contribution, where the citizen disposes of his previously separated packaging waste, to a facility for its recovery, disposal or prior storage. In the case of household packaging waste, local authorities are responsible for the collection of this waste, and they can comply with this obligation by providing the service through public companies or by issuing public invitations to tender


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Ecoembalajes España

Paseo de la Castellana, 83-85 (Planta 11)
28046 Madrid, Spain

Department of Member Companies

Phone: 00 34 / 91 567 24 03
Fax: 00 34 / 91 598 06 24