PepsiCo expands Latin America recycling initiatives
PepsiCo Latin America.

PepsiCo expands Latin America recycling initiatives

PepsiCo Foundation grant of $2 million will support grassroots recycling collection routes across eight countries.

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Following PepsiCo's April launch of “Recycling with a Purpose,” a circular economy model designed to promote recycling in Latin America, the company says Peru is the first of 10 countries to implement the program over the next two years.

The PepsiCo Foundation has awarded a $2 million grant to nonprofit Ciudad Saludable, Lima, Peru, which will include “grassroots recyclers” as part of the recycling system within the “Recycling with Purpose” program, the company says in a news release.

The new program involves a partnership with recycling incentives technology provider ecoins, in which consumers in Peru can now earn discounts on a variety of products and services, including PepsiCo brands, in exchange for the collection of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and other recyclables. PepsiCo says the initiative was founded in Cost Rica and aims to reach 1 million people with recycling awareness in the first year of operation across the region.

“PepsiCo wants to be part of the solution and will work continuously to build a world where the plastics never become waste,” says Luis Montoya, president of PepsiCo Latin America Beverages. “We acknowledge that we can’t close the loop alone and beyond the improvements we are making to our own food and beverage packaging, it is imperative that we engage the consumer to increase material collection and boost recycling rates through the inclusion of grassroots recyclers with Ciudad Saludable.”

The PepsiCo Foundation grant will support the inclusion of 1,000 grassroots recyclers in recycling collection routes across eight countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru. The program is expected to benefit 800,000 people at the community level with improved recycling services and aims to collect 6,000 tons of recyclables.

“We have had a longstanding relationship with PepsiCo because they are committed to inclusive recycling and have dedicated over a decade to working alongside us to find solutions,” says Paloma Roldan, executive director at Ciudad Saludable. “We have our work cut out for us and this grant from The PepsiCo Foundation will be vital to continue including grassroots recyclers as key actors of the recycling system and to move towards a circular economy in the region.”

Since 2008, Ciudad Saludable, with PepsiCo’s support, has trained 3,162 grassroots recyclers and 210 public workers, reaching 22 municipalities with access to environmental management tools. As a result, 2,360 grassroots recyclers and 48 recycling associations were formalized, enabling them to be integrated into municipal waste management systems, generating increased income and achieving improved quality of work and life.

“As we lack recycling infrastructure in so many countries throughout the region, we need to involve consumers to make recycling sustainable and ecoins is the ideal method by which to do so,” says Karla Chavez, regional director at ecoins. “Our partnership with PepsiCo, which goes beyond just funding to include knowledge sharing, will allow consumer education to truly reach the masses and make an impact with both short and long-term potential.” 

By 2021, PepsiCo expects “Recycling with Purpose” to be operating in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Guatemala and Jamaica. PepsiCo estimates that in its first year of operation, ecoins will have 300,000 accounts and provide recycling awareness to nearly 1 million people.