Majority of companies recycles, but does not reduce the use of plastic

The straw is the most commonly used plastic material (52.5%) in the restaurant and drinks sector, according to a survey released in Lisbon Tuesday, showing that 93% of responding companies have recycled the packaging.

The investigation into the use of plastic disposable items was carried out as part of a campaign of the Association of Hospitality, Catering and Similars of Portugal (AHRESP), entitled "Less Plastic More Environment", co-financed by the Environment Fund of the Ministry of the Environment, that 489 responses were valid.

After the straw, plastic cups are the material of this type that is most commonly used by companies in the industry (28.2% of the total).

"The other types of disposable plastic items (plates, cutlery) account for just over 10% of the answers obtained," says AHRESP in the document with the results.

The answers were collected in September and October in Albufeira, Coimbra, Évora, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada, Portimão, Porto and Santarém, catering and beverage companies and tourist accommodation.

A total of 77.4% of companies indicated that bags were available, of which 49.7% indicated paper bags and 49.9% plastic bags.

About 87% of the companies use disposable materials, 70% continue to use plastic as disposable material and 27% use paper.

The answers were obtained through personal interviews in different companies, divided into restaurants (57.3%), pastries (18.8%), cafés and bars (12.3%), take away food (3.3%), housing (1.6%) and others (6.7%).

Almost all the entrepreneurs interviewed (93%) said they separate the packaging. According to the same source, 91.6% of the companies separate the plastic, 93.3% the glass and 92.8% the paper / cardboard.

The survey was part of a campaign to make citizens aware of the need to change behavior in favor of the environment, which also toured along beaches and music festivals and collected more than 52 kilos of plastic.

The results were presented at a conference in which entrepreneurs expressed their concern about "fragmented measures" and "excessive legislation" regarding environmental issues.

Jaime Braga, of the Portuguese Confederation of Business, said that before parliament's "parliamentary fury" he preferred "the calm and reflection" of government offices, and expressed the fear that many companies would "stand in the way" because they can not adapt to changes.

In the same vein, General Secretary of AHRESP José Manuel Esteves warned that small businesses are not able to "fit in" catadupa produced "as much as possible" and to criticize "unequal measures" in this area.

Jorge Henriques, from the Federation of Portuguese Agro-Food Industries, also described the current parliament as & amp; # excessive in legislation & # 39; and defended the improvement of waste collection systems. "We can not live with this stigma that we are waste producers," he said.

On his initiative, the Minister for the Environment, Carlos Martins, presented the assurance that the future "will be built with dialogue", realizing that it is difficult to reach consensus on paradigm shifts.

"This less plastic paradigm is in our hands, and what lies ahead is not an easy way," he said at the end of the meeting.

He estimated that changes in habits will take "some time" and advocated partnerships with industry to find alternative solutions to petroleum-derived materials.

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