Plastic bottle recycler in Mexico shuts down

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Stephen Downer Octavio Victal García, co-founder of Tecnopenales SA de CV.

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO — A plastic bottle recycler that employed 200 inmates at a prison in western Mexico has been forced out of business in the wake of state and municipal elections.

“The new authorities found the project not in their interests,” co-founder Octavio Victal García told Plastics News by email April 22.

However, Victal, who founded Tecnopenales SA de CV with his father in 2009, said he has formed a partnership with extruder and thermoformer Site Plásticos SA de CV, of Guadalajara, where the company will be re-launched.

“We will finish installing the equipment [in Guadalajara] in a couple of weeks,” he added. “Site has top-of-the -line PTI non dry extrusion technology which will fit perfectly with our recycling capabilities.”

Victal did not say whether the Tecnopenales name will be retained and he could not be reached for further comment.

He and his father, Octavio Victal Senior, a heart surgeon, invested several million dollars in setting up the company at the Centro Integral de Justicia Regional Puerto Vallarta, one of five penitentiaries in the western state of Jalisco.

The company bought commingled bales with PET, polypropylene and high density polyethylene bottles and was processing 40 tons of mixed bales every month in 2012.

By then it was a $1 million-plus business which Victal believed to be unique in Latin America.