Dow and Delterra intend to foster growth in the recycling chain in Latin America by promoting the development of circular economy in Argentina.
Buenos Aires – Dow (NYSE: DOW), the world’s leading materials science company, joins Delterra, an independent environmental non-profit organization, in a comprehensive program promoting a circular economy and increasing recycling rates in the Argentinian cities of Bahía Blanca, Mendoza, Bariloche and Posadas. By means of this agreement, the parties seek to improve waste management systems and optimize value creation through environmentally sustainable technological innovations for supply chains in Latin America.
Delterra, founded by McKinsey & Company, is on a mission to redesign human systems for the good of people and the planet. With its Rethinking Recycling program, Delterra works to create highly productive and financially attractive systems to increase the volume and availability of recycled material. A comprehensive approach is taken by involving the participation of the largest possible number of relevant players across the value chain: government, local recycling cooperatives, waste generators, consumers and private companies committed to the circularity of materials.
“We are convinced that the circular economy is an engine of change to improve our planet and make it more sustainable for current and future generations. For this reason, we innovate with the purpose of developing recyclable materials and collaborate with the entire value chain to amplify the impact. This comprehensive recycling program aims to scale up this challenge, together with Delterra, an NGO that articulates a public-private space of opportunities with objectives and tangible results that bring us closer to our goal.” said Carolina Mantilla, Dow’s director of sustainability for Packaging & Specialty Plastics in Latin America.
“Solving the challenges that our planet and its inhabitants face requires a systemic and scalable approach and that is what Delterra specializes in”, said Federico Di Penta, the Delterra regional director. “Impactful collaborations are critical to orchestrating this transformation, and that’s why we’re happy to work with Dow to effectively join forces to advance Argentina’s path towards more sustainable cities. The problem of waste must be addressed in a wholesome way and that is why it is essential that we have the participation of each of the actors in the value chain”.
Recycling rates are low across Latin America, with current rates hovering at 8% in Argentina . This situation highlights the great opportunity for public-private partnerships to improve and strengthen programs based on social inclusion that incorporate governments, to achieve holistic and sustainable solutions.
The project Dow is developing through Delterra focuses on six dimensions identified in the circular economy maturity index: waste generation and source separation; collection, classification, and treatment; consumption and market demand; strategy and budget; public policies and regulations; capabilities and partnerships. The program also includes the development of educational campaigns with articulation between the private sector and the government, safe access to waste management and the development of capacities to accelerate plastic recycling rates in those cities – all with the intent to improve the quantity and quality of recovered waste, maximizing the economic benefits for urban recyclers.
The program aims to promote the development of an effective materials model in Argentina, which involves collaborative work across the entire value chain to help ensure the supply and demand for recycled materials is efficient and reliable, while maximizing operating results. Dow has committed to redesigning and promoting applications of materials to close the loop and enable 100% of its products sold into packaging applications to be reusable or recyclable by 2035.
This work builds on the success stories Delterra already has in Argentina, such as the pilot implemented in 2019 in Baririo Mugica, an informal community in Buenos Aires together with the government and 13 NGOs, where the circular economy index was significantly improved, making it the area of the capital city where the most waste is recycled and composted. This year, the activity has expanded to Olavarría, where with the “GIRO” program managed a total transformation in the city through the successful shift to three-way segregated collection: organic, recyclable, and residual waste.