Spain’s total lubricant consumption decreased 1.5 percent last year to 455,861 metric tons, according to Sigaus, a non-profit entity that manages used lubricants in the country.
A study conducted for the organization by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 82 percent of that volume is subject to national waste oil rules assigning “extended producer responsibility” for collection and disposal. The remaining 18 percent – including greases, process oils and lubricants such as marine oils that are consumed in use – are not subject to EPR.
Of the 375,125 tons of EPR oils, about 345,000 tons were marketed as lubricants, while another 30,000 tons were placed on the market as part of imported vehicles, equipment and components, Sigaus said.
About 20,000 tons of these oils were exported, mainly for factory-filling of vehicles. That means 354,435 tons of lubricants remained on the national market, 0.8 percent less than a year ago, the study found.
Lubricant manufacturers that are members of Sigaus contribute fees for the lubes that they market in the country – €0.06 per kilogram – to subsidize the collection and recycling of waste oils. By agreement, members also covered costs for volumes marketed by “free rider” manufacturers that do not contribute to that fund.
In 2019 the free rider portion that manufacturer members paid for constituted 2.85 percent of total lubricant volume, 0.62 percent higher than in 2018.
In total, SIGAUS has been responsible for about 87 percent of the waste oil generated in Spain and subject to EPR.
According to its website, 245 companies adhere to Sigaus. The organization has 192 collectors and 195 management facilities, and has collected close to 2 trillion tons of used oil, producing over 778,000 tons of lubricants since it was founded in 2007.