In South America, picking up scrap cardboard and selling it is a common activity, carried out illegally by hundreds of jobless people. In order to improve the quality of life for these people and increase their income at the same time, the ARCA recycling centre intends to professionalise, develop and industrialise their work to create a virtuous circle that also exploits the value of trash. The idea is to provide the recipient cooperatives with a heated platen press in order to turn recycled trash, especially plastics, into reusable plastics, using an ecologically friendly technology that mixes plastic with cardboard. The plastic will be collected mainly from Carrefour stores in the city that are already working with one of the association's partner cooperatives. The project also goes beyond the collection of recycled materials, by training beneficiaries in adding value to the trash by transforming it into eco-friendly products, which will then be sold in the Carrefour stores. From being casual cardboard pickers selling what they have collected, the 350 or so beneficiaries of the program will have become makers and marketers of their own eco-products with appreciable added value.
The Carrefour outlets in Buenos Aires will be key partners in this “green product chain”, both upstream, for the collection of recyclable trash, and downstream for distributing and advertising the eco-products in their stores.