When discarding a container of milk, juice, puree or some nectar, the cardboard, polyethylene and aluminum that compose it can be reused to build new and diverse products, ranging from toilet paper or furniture, which generates jobs and value.
Environmental engineer Alfredo Román, highlighted the great market opportunity that Mexico has in terms of recycling, since it has the technology and the industry to recycle to first world levels. However, to achieve this, he said, a correct legislative framework and proper waste management are needed.
“Really the country, from the industrial point of view, is prepared; It has the capacity to recycle the different materials that are produced in the country. What is needed is a legal framework that ensures having the material in both technical and economic conditions that are viable for the industry and that allows us to exploit it in a better way,” he said.
The environmental manager of Tetra Pak Mexico said that so far the main problem with recycling in Mexico is the collection, since there is no good management of waste produced in homes and in cities, in general.
He pointed out that Mexico has the proper management of waste like other industrial nations, “but it is a process and we need a legislative solution that helps us to consolidate the matter of waste and at the same time we also need apply the laws as they should be. ”
“From my point of view, success in the management of waste is based on an adequate legal framework and the correct application of laws, because in Mexico laws exist but are not applied.”
“And it seems to be very complex, but in reality in other countries it is not very different from us; Many times it is thought that Mexican’s environmental awareness is lower than first world countries and it really is not that; We have the same problems as European countries, but the difference is compliance with the laws,” he insisted.
In spite of this, in Mexico there are companies that implement and support recycling programs. Tetra Pack, which in addition to constantly launching advertising campaigns on the importance of recycling, carries out projects that seek to increase the rate of recycling.
“We have a joint venture project with the company Bio Pappel, which is the largest paper manufacturer in Mexico, to install a recycling line for our packaging; the objective is to collect around 25 thousand tons of packaging annually in one of its paper mills,” he said.
The main objective of the multinational company, founded in Sweden, is that by 2020 40% of the containers that are placed on the market worldwide are recycled.
To achieve this goal, Román explained, the goal is to be present throughout the value chain; from the collection and recycling to the manufacture of the final product.
With this, he said, it seeks to shape and create a recycling market like the one that already exists for other materials, such as paper.
In addition, citizens on their part can contribute to consolidate this market by recycling, since not doing so will waste the residual value of that material that was probably made from renewable sources, he said.
“In the case of a material that goes to a sanitary landfill, it is buried up to 400 years, wasted, and while using new resources when it could be reused and put into a value chain,” the expert said.
Hence the importance of recycling, as an activity that not only cares for the environment, but also helps create more jobs for Mexicans.