Who wins with the recycling business?

Companies in the recycling business know the important role they play in the plastic epidemic and the responsibility they must assume in this regard: stop producing plastics and develop technology to generate less polluting materials.

Corporations insist that recycling is the best thing they can do to eliminate plastic pollution. Why do they want to convince us of this? One answer is Money. Image: Pixabay
Corporations insist that recycling is the best thing they can do to eliminate plastic pollution. Why do they want to convince us of this? One answer is Money. Image: Pixabay

Corporations make millions for the waste they recycle. In 2018, the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation affirmed in the report "The new economy of plastics" that companies could recover between 80 billion and 120 billion dollars by recycling, instead of discarding, the plastics they produce.

Under the argument that this is how they contribute to taking care of the environment, the corporations started massive campaigns in favor of recycling and decided to make their responsibility a business.

For example, Coca-Cola Femsa launched its "Waste-free World" strategy in October 2018, the goal of which is to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of its sold packaging in 2030 and, on average, 50% of these will be produced with recycled materials.

This company has two plants recycle PET, one (the largest in the world in this branch) in the State of Mexico, with a recycling capacity of 4 billion 100 million bottles per year, equivalent only to 3.72% of all the bottles (110 billion) that it produces per year.

And what about the rest of the plastic bottles that Coca Cola does not recycle? Go to the seas. In Mexico, there are between 0.01 to 0.25 million metric tons of plastic per km2 in the oceans. What is the problem? Each year, one million seabirds die from plastic consumption.

What these campaigns hide and the corporations that encourage them is that recycling is not enough anymore.

What can we do?

The Mexican Senate today has the opportunity to make a difference and reform the General Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Waste (LGPGIR), to prohibit single-use plastics and thus make brands responsible for their packaging, packaging, and packaging

While these corporations earn money by reusing plastics, the rest of the world loses in terms of rights, quality of life, biodiversity and also economy:

The presence of garbage in the sea can discourage tourism, which in turn translates into a loss of income and jobs. These impacts can be quite significant in the areas where the local economy depends on it. For example, it is estimated that in the European Union the cost for cleanings of coasts and beaches amounts to 630 million euros per year.

In Mexico, this expense is absorbed mainly by civil society that, voluntarily, is organized to clean up the seas, as shown in the report Plastic Invasion of Greenpeace Mexico, with images and information from people throughout the country who went to work the work to collect the garbage that the companies produce.

In addition, the effects of environmental pollution have a cost valued by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 40 billion dollars. It is estimated that by 2050, the entire plastic industry will have consumed 20% of total oil production. According to UN Mexico, 17 million barrels are used every year to produce bottles of water.

Source: Greenpeace Mexico

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Only 23% of garbage is recycled in Mexico

Of the 46 million tons of garbage that are generated per year in Mexico, hardly take advantage of recycling from 19 to 23 percent, when developed countries such as Switzerland take advantage of up to 96 percent of their waste.

This was pointed out by the president of the National Confederation of Metal and Recycling Industries A.C. (CONIMER), Francisco Uriostegui Pineda, who added that although there are 74,000 recycling companies in Mexico, there is a marked monopoly concentrated in 11 companies that operate in 16 states, including Jorge Emilio González's "El niño Verde" company. .

Interviewed in the framework of the signing of an agreement of agreement between the Secretariat of Welfare, Sustainability and Climate Change with the CONIMER, he spoke out against the monopolization of garbage.

"The ideal would be to reach levels like Switzerland, which takes advantage of 96 percent, but I am satisfied with 75 percent for the economy to inject money to the poorest families and that if the fourth transformation is aimed at reducing the poverty, this is a good point to get to work in poverty, environment and preserve what little we have left of natural reserves."

Therefore, it is necessary to promote the culture of recycling, take advantage of what is generated in sanitary landfills, businesses and industries, since with this productive chain it benefits from the primary link, which is the perpetrator, and we must not forget that" we are 6 million people who dedicate themselves to this noble office throughout the country."

He regretted that the privatization takes place through the monopoly held by 11 companies that control garbage in 16 states of the country, most of the center and north. 

"This monopoly belongs to very wealthy people, among them El Niño Verde".

Although he said that he does not know the resources that this represents, he said that there are million-dollar businesses with billions of pesos.

Finally, he called for reducing levels of pollution since "we live in a world of plastic, but we are the ones who pollute."

Source: elheraldodetabasco.com.mx