PET plastic, baled for recycling. PET plastic, baled for recycling.

Mexico a leader in recycling PET, but not with other plastic products

Only 44% of the population separates its waste

Mexico is a leader in the recycling of PET plastics, but falls behind in other measurements of recycling.

Fifty-six percent of all PET packaging sold is recycled, comparable to the European Union and far above figures for the United States, Brazil and Canada, according to the environmental NGO Ecoce.

However, the NGO says only 44% of the population separates its waste, and only one in 10 Mexicans recycle all the plastic they use, according to a study by a packaging producer.

That study, by Hi-Cone, asked respondents how they think recycling could be promoted: 75% believed that more recycling bins in public spaces, such as streets, parks and squares, would boost the practice and 72% recommended more centers to drop off reusable waste.

Sixty-five percent suggested that more facilities and services are needed from home, such as personal bins to separate waste or reusable waste collection.

The vice president of Hi-Cone, Shawn Welch, said Mexicans are disposed to act in favor of the environment, but the necessary infrastructure to support recycling of all types of waste is lacking.

He added that his organization is researching new solutions to increase recycling which would be workable for citizens, businesses and government authorities.

Mexicans generate 0.86 kilograms of solid waste per day, and dispose of more than 44 million tonnes per year as a whole, according to the Environment Ministry. That figure is expected to grow to 65 million tonnes by 2030.

The ministry also estimates that 38,351 tonnes per day of reusable waste, whether through recycling or energy production, was thrown out in 2020.

Sources: Milenio (sp), Business Insider México (sp)

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