Mexico City — Picture frames are big business in Mexico, and one of the biggest companies in the industry has opened its first outlet in the country with a difference: 90 percent of its products are made of recycled reinforced polystyrene.
Opened in Mexico City's colonial downtown district May 8, the 2,152-square-foot store, called Paspartú Frames, is socially responsible, according to Managing Director Policarpo Rodríguez. The store is a new unit of frame maker Marcos & Marcos SA de CV.
Rodríguez is one of three partners who launched Marcos & Marcos in Tultepec, Mexico, 20 years ago. Since then, he and his business partners, brother and sister Federico and Carmen Gómez, have turned the company into one of Mexico's leading frame producers.
According to Rodríguez, the company recycles 3.5 metric tons a day of polystyrene and 1 tonne per day of other plastic taken from discarded TV sets.
In July, Marcos & Marcos was one of three companies that sponsored a national plan for handling polystyrene waste in Mexico — the Plan Nacional de Manejo de Residuos de EPS (Unicel) — which later became law. The other two sponsors were Tecnologías Rennueva SA de CV, of Mexico City, and Dart de México S de RL de CV, of Atlacomulco.
All three collect EPS waste and have combined capacity to recycle up to 4,000 tonnes of a year.
Rodríguez and the Gómezes have invested 5 million pesos (US$260,200) in the store, along with Julio Domínguez who is a partner in the Paspartú Frames only. Next year they plan to open Paspartú Frames stores in Monterrey, Guadalajara, Querétaro and probably Puebla in addition to starting online sales in the United States. They already export frames to Central and South America, Rodríguez said.
"Mexicans are among the largest buyers of picture frames in the world," he said in a May 13 telephone interview. "Estimates made in Marcos & Marcos put the number of frames sold on the formal market in Mexico at 50,000 a day." He calculates that Marcos & Marcos has about 20 percent of that market.
He is a staunch defender of the environment and is highly critical of a May 9 decision by Mexico City legislators to introduce bans on single-use plastic bags, straws, cutlery and crockery within the next two years.
"It's a legislative mistake and shows a total lack of understanding of the problem," he said, adding that the plastic industry needs to be more aggressive in its PR campaigns and should even consider taking legal action to defend itself.