Mexico City — PetStar SAPI de CV is launching a revised sustainable business model as it aims to consolidate its position as the world's leading food-grade PET recycler in an increasingly competitive industry.
Founded in 2006, the Mexican company's goal is to recover and recycle all the PET bottles sent to market by its seven stakeholders by 2020 and thus achieve zero waste.
“Currently we are collecting 70 percent of the bottles sent to market,” company founder and CEO Jaime Cámara Creixell said in a Dec. 20 interview. “We have to get to 100 percent.
“The moment we have control of these bottles we will avoid leakage of flake, pellets and dust,” he said, adding: “We're trying to demonstrate that you can do it the right way and that recycling is really the way to make plastics sustainable.”
Cámara also said that PetStar, which uses wind-generated electricity at its sophisticated recycling plant on the outskirts of Toluca, is aiming for neutral carbon and water footprints by 2020.
The facility, some 40 miles west of Mexico City, can recycle up to 130 million pounds of PET a year. Cámara describes it as “the largest food-grade PET recycling plant in the world.”
PetStar's stakeholders are Coca-Cola bottlers Arca Continental SAB de CV (49.9 percent), Embotelladora Bepensa SA de CV (10.06 percent), Corporacion del Fuerte SA de CV (5.04 percent), Corporacion Rica SA de CV (2.20 percent), Embotelladora del Nayar SA de CV (1.84 percent) and Embotelladora de Colima SA de CV (0.96 percent). Coca-Cola México's stake is 30 percent. Arca Continental is the second largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America.
PetStar retains the services of 24,000 PET pickers, known in Mexico as pepenadores. Unlike some competitors, it has a fleet of 120 trucks for transporting the material, which it buys in bulk.
“The market is soft at the moment,” said Cámara. “There's an over-supply of virgin PET resin, which affects the price of recycled PET. Today there's not much difference between the price of virgin PET and recycled PET.”
All of which makes PetStar's sustainable business model more important, in Cámara's opinion.
“If we keep being competitive, we are guaranteeing the future of the business. If you are just environment-friendly, you won't survive,” he said.