In December 2018, the Polytechnic of Coimbra was distinguished with an honourable mention by Novo Verde – Packaging Waste Management Company, as a result of an application to the Novo Verde Packaging Universities Award Project, with the theme “Politécnico de Coimbra +Sustainable”. The award resulted in the delivery of 11 ecopoints, 1 water dispenser and 1000 glass bottles, for a total value of 2,500 euros.
This project consisted in carrying out an Environmental Audit to the location defined by each participating entity, in which the aspects/problems to be solved would be determined through the implementation of an action plan, focused on the management of packaging waste, to be defined.
This was an initiative by Novo Verde – Sociedade Gestora de Resíduos de Embalagens, as part of its Prevention, Awareness, Communication and Education Plan (PSC&E), aimed at waste with recycling potential.
With citizen education playing a key role in this process, educational establishments are excellent vehicles for transmitting and learning the message and motivating the adoption of these practices, so the target audience was the Higher Education Institutions enrolled in the Eco-Schools Programme or wishing to join it. Values such as “reduce”, “reuse” and “recycle” have already been in the lexicon of the Portuguese for some years, but it is necessary to appeal to them in a circular economy perspective, in which waste gains new life and a more rational and considered philosophy is required in the consumption of materials, energy and resources.
The Associação Bandeira Azul da Europa (ABAE)/Programa Eco-Escolas (Eco-Schools Programme) was a partner, following the environmental education initiatives already developed within the strategy of the management entity, in which the training of citizens is the driving force of this responsibility.