To ensure that in the future Bonafont’s rPET will be 100% socially responsible, and to guarantee a second life for 100% of its packaging, Reintegra defines a standard definition of socially responsible rPET while improving the working conditions and income of waste pickers.
In terms of the legal acknowledgement and social inclusion of waste pickers, or pepenadores, Mexico is lagging behind other Latin American countries. Approximately 90% of gathered recyclable materials are collected by pepenadores on streets, at waste trucks and in dumps. These waste pickers often work in unhealthy conditions, with poor safety. In order to ensure that its sourcing is socially responsible, Bonafont is aiming to introduce traceability to its rPET supply chain. With the support of the Danone Ecosystem Fund, Bonafont together with the local government in Mexico City and its local partner the Latin Institute for Technical Cooperation (INLA), the Reintegra project aims to foster the production of recycled plastic that is socially responsible and of higher quality. A pilot project is running in some neighbourhoods of Mexico City to segregate plastics according to category from origin, make the collection more efficient, and increase the number of recyclables. To accomplish this, the project is introducing innovations through value chain mapping and working hand with in hand with the government to build a community recycling center as well as undertake a public communications campaign. The project also aims to create a standard definition for socially responsible rPET.
The project is integrating a recycling chain that has previously been fragmented, aiming to create a model that could be rolled out across Mexico City. For waster pickers, it means both an increased income and fewer working hours, alongside recognition of their job. Bonafont, meanwhile, supports the organisation and professionalization of the recycling industry in Mexico, while ensuring the traceability and responsible sourcing of its rPET and guaranteeing second life to 100% of its plastics.