These global products are nearly impossible to recycle.
This is a series of articles talking about waste management, packaging and my awakening toward this issue.
Packaging that combines aluminium + plastic is making the recycling plan impossible.
The combination of these two materials, also called bi-oriented polypropylene (BOPP), is the cheapest way to protect this type of food. Producers know about it, but guess what... Eco friendly packaging is more expensive to produce.
I learned that if something is not recycable, you have two possibilities: Burning or Barrying. What do you prefer?
Think of all the Oreos, Ruffles and yogurt cups you’ve consumed in your life. All these metal-blended plastics are currently residing under our feet and they will be there for at least the next 10 years.
Ruffles chip packages claim to be recycable. However, for these packages to be recycled its materials must be separated and according to Brazilian waste-pickers, this task is impossible.
In the picture below, you can see the two different materials of the packaging - aluminium (inside) and plastic (outside). That is the problem!
Here is an image I took of a tradional Brazilian supermarket, Pão de Açúcar. As you can see a lot of the packaging includes this aluminimum/plastic blend. Once I realized just how many products were using this type of packaging the problem became overwhelmingly, REAL. All the products I saw on the shelves were going to be in the landfills.
Any ideas to make those companies produce more eco-friendly produtcs?
I started to work with Triciclos, a Chilean waste management company, that expanded to Brazil. The company provides easy access to recycling containers through local supermarkets, and helps companies to understand which materials are more sustainable than others, ameliorating current packaging.
This is part of my journey in Social Innovation Management at the Amani Institute.