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By Jessica Tasón
This will change in March next year, with the adjustments made to the Panamanian Paper Industry (IPEL) plant, located in Chilibre, which will have the necessary machinery to locally recycle these containers.
At the IPEL plant, some equipment is being relocated to make room for the machinery that will carry out the recycling process, which will arrive at the end of the year, said Guillermo Pugliese, Tetra Pak's Environment Director for Central America and the Caribbean.
IPEL, which is part of the Galindo Companies, began operations in April 1969. Currently, it has a monthly production capacity of 2,300 tons.
Pugliese explained that although the recycling process is carried out in Panama, we will not stop exporting containers to El Salvador, because these are the raw material for the production of finished products.
‘There are enough containers to allow the incursion of new participants in the market. In this way, the recovery rate can be increased, which is currently around 7%, 'he said.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
In the specific case of packaging collection (tetrapak), Kimberly Clark has created a network of companies that also provide them with recycled paper.
Among the companies, the largest collector is Recimetal, which exports approximately 200 containers per month of different products to different parts of the world.
Recimental's assistant manager, Cindy Riascos, explained that, if not exported, these products would go to landfill and that 80% of the garbage that we generate during the day can be recycled.
Another company that is recycling in Panama, and in a totally different way, is Bliss’s Earth, which implemented the home recycling system.
Bliss’s Earth not only collects, but also provides training and processes recyclable waste to clean and transform it into reusable products.
The company started in 2007 and formally in 2008. Currently, it recycles 33 tons per month and differs from the other collectors because it seeks a solution from the problem and not a classic collection of sale.
Bliss’s Earth CEO Alexei Castillo explained that the company serves different types of customers, so the collection system and the frequency with which the material is collected varies.
In office buildings an area is established to accommodate the material for a week; in neighborhoods (La Alameda, with the Eco Alameda group) there is a door-to-door collection every two weeks; in PH, every 15 days; in colleges and universities, the collection is done weekly; in large companies, every two days.
In the end, the whole system must work, no matter the type of client or the size of each one.
Castillo assured that the recycling business in Panama is profitable if seen from the point of view of the mechanism they use, but it is not easy because it has many points that must be coordinated simultaneously for the system to work; It takes time but it is the results, the interest of the client and the strategy that is implemented that is most important.
'Our market is special and is defined by the real interest of each of our clients, which we have seen has increased by 25% in 2014, it means that there are more interested every day to make real change, than It is the one that gives them the results they expect, 'he stressed.
The fibers that Bliss's Earth collects (papers and tetrapak) are exported to be converted into papers for daily use, while the cardboard and newspapers are for national use, E-Waste (treated locally and then exported), plastics (local use and others). exported).
From June 2007 to September 2014, this company has recycled 1,200 tons of paper, cardboard and tetrapak; 574 tons of recycled plastic; 125 tons of recycled aluminum; 350 tons of recycled metal and scrap and 459 tonnes of glass.
With these figures, more than 20,400 trees have been saved.