27 APRIL, 2022

We accompany and strengthen professional waste pickers

Thanks to the evolution of the dairy market and innovation in its packaging, today it costs less, does not go to waste, lasts for months without refrigeration, transports more with fewer resources and is more affordable.

When an official waste picker in the process of formalization is capable to recover, collect, transport and classify solid waste so that it can be used and reincorporated into the cycle as raw material, it is thanks to the involvement and collaboration of all the actors in the chain, including territorial entities.

In this context, Plastilene Group has designed a program to support and strengthen the associations of waste pickers from a social, environmental, technical and economic point of view.

Progress towards sustainable supply

Since 2018 we have been developing this type of comprehensive initiatives, which allow us to move towards sustainable sourcing. We began with a compactor´s delivery, a digital scale with a capacity to weigh up to 2.5 tons and three tricycles to Recitoc, a waste pickers’ association of Tocancipá. We also arranged meetings with them at Christmas in recognition of their work, which also allowed us to get to know them on a personal level.
Then, during the difficult situation of the confinement, we supported the families of the allied waste pickers’ associations with 480 units of consumer packaged goods. Meanwhile, we gave 5,000 recyclable protective masks to those waste pickers who were able to continue their work. In addition, we have provided technical support through the Group’s qualified human resources and training processes in alliance with Anicorp, so that they can give greater value to their work.

This year we delivered to our suppliers in Bogotá M y M, Asogreen (Amparo) and Natura (Bosa) an automatic compactor with the capacity to compact up to 15 tons, for each association. In this way, we ensure that the materials are ready in the conditions we require as processors.

Why automatic compactors?

It allows the associations of waste pickers traders to:
1. Reduce the volume of plastic waste by 40% to 70%. This will store more material in less space.
2. Organize the material to have better conditions of hygiene and cleanliness, less vectors and pests that can be generated in a collection center.
3. Compact plastic waste (flexible and rigid), cardboard, aluminum and paper.
4. Reduce material transportation costs. By being compacted, the use of the vehicle is more efficient since it occupies less space.
5. Spend less time compacting waste, thanks to the fact that it is automatic.
Each compactor has a useful life of 15 to 20 years and can be operated by 2 waste pickers. We deliver them with 15 gallons of oil that, on average, can last up to 2 years, if contact with water is avoided.

Managers and waste pickers traders

Unlike the managers, who already have an administrative, commercial, financial, technical and operational structure for the activity of waste recovery, the waste pickers traders are beginning to strengthen in these aspects as they provide this complementary public service, on a regular basis, under different levels of vulnerability, and therefore, they were declared as subjects of special constitutional protection. Considering the above, Resolution 596 of 2016 proposes:

“Operational scheme of the activity of utilization and the transitoriness for compliance with the obligations to be met by waste pickers traders and organizations that are in the process of formalization as persons providing the activity of utilization in the public sanitation service, for the entire national territory.”

Taking this measure into account, each of the efforts we make for waste pickers is in line to contribute to compliance with this resolution, dignify their work, make it visible in society and contribute to the reduction of plastic waste disposed of in landfills and therefore increasing recyclability rates. All of the above either through initiatives exclusive to the Group or in synergy with our strategic allies, such as with our supplier Dow and Avina Foundation in the delivery of a multifunctional warehouse or Grupo Familia and Postobón in the program Bogotá Recicla con Tu Reciclador (Bogota Recicla con tu Reciclador).