Mexico City — A polystyrene recycling group is using an annual Mexican festival marking the start of Mexico's War of Independence to promote its expanded polystyrene waste collection campaign.
This weekend marks the anniversary of the day when parish priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla launched the struggle against Spanish rule in what is now Dolores Hidalgo in central Mexico on the morning of September 16, 1810.
For many Mexican families the anniversary of his shout for independence — known as the "Cry of Dolores" — is the biggest night of the year and features televised street parties across the nation, mariachis, patriotic speeches, flags and tolling bells.
Héctor Ortiz, CEO of recycler Tecnologías Rennueva S.A. de C.V., one of three companies behind a new national plan to collect and handle EPS waste, saw it as an opportunity to promote the initiative.
In 2010, Rennueva and two EPS processors, Dart de México S. de R.L. de C.V. and M Arcos & M Arcos de México S.A. de C.V., formed the Recicla Unicel (Recycling EPS) initiative.
Now part of Mexico's federal Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Waste, the initiative's goal is to open multiple collection points across the country. At the moment there are just three.
According to Recicla Unicel, annual EPS consumption in Mexico is 125,000 metric tons, of which only 5-6 percent is recycled.
Using their own as well as federal, state and local government social media, Rennueva, Dart and M Arcos are advising people how to handle their EPS waste, "if you have any during the Fiestas Patrias [patriotic parties]."
"If you decide to use disposable crockery, the items made from EPS can be recycled," they write. "Initiatives such as Recicla Unicel exist to encourage a recycling culture with regard to this material and to develop a more sustainable and responsible use by consumers."
"We don't have any financial support from federal, state or local governments for the moment," Ortiz told Plastics News when asked whether the trio plans to invest in advertising campaigns. "We expect to employ local strategies for the time being."
Rennueva's offices are in southern Mexico City, while Dart and M Arcos & M Arcos have plants in the State of Mexico, which borders on the Mexican capital.