Braskem, the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, and the GPA Group, Brazil’s largest retail chain, will be recycling 60 metric tons of plastic every year to produce the new packaging of the Qualitá stain remover, an exclusive brand marketed at the Extra and Pão de Açúcar stores, across Brazil.
The partnership is part of the Wecycle platform, created by the Brazilian petrochemical company, for the utilization of plastic waste in the production chain, and is part of GPA’s reverse logistics program, Novo de Novo.
The initiative will use the materials discarded in the stations installed in GPA hypermarkets and supermarkets (Extra and Pão de Açúcar), which are donated to partner cooperatives of the Program. Following sorting, the plastic is sent to a recycling company, which manufactures the resin composed of 70% recycled material and 30% virgin polyethylene. The resin is then sold to the plastic processing company, which produces the product packaging and fills the packages.
The entire volume of the Qualitá stain remover sold in Brazil, roughly 10,000 pots per month, will have packaging made from the recycled resin. “The partnership is the achievement of our goal of developing, in partnership with the chain, customized solutions for recycling and new applications of post-consumer plastic,” said Américo Bartilotti, Polyethylene Director at Braskem.
To ensure compliance with current legislation and sustainability requirements, the cooperatives and recycling companies have undergone Wecycle audit processes. The cooperatives are now also part of Braskem’s ser+realizador program, which aims to increase the recycling of post-consumer waste in Brazil in a collaborative way, as well as developing the work of garbage collectors and the professionalization of cooperatives, creating opportunities for the industry for the benefit of the environment.
The partnership also represents a new step in the GPA’s “Novo de Novo” program, which is able to reinsert into the production cycle long-life paper and packaging collected in the Recycling Stations of the Extra and Pão de Açúcar stores. The cooperatives responsible for the sorting of these materials have a partnership promoted by GPA to sell the material to a plant responsible for packaging the Qualitá and Taeq products. The collected material’s composition is 75% pulp, which is processed back into paper in the industry. Currently, the Company has 184 collection points, which receive approximately 2 million kilograms of recyclable materials per year. The collection is carried out by more than 40 cooperatives across the country.
“GPA has always been a pioneer in initiatives related to retail sustainability. With this partnership with Braskem, we are taking an even greater step in this field, joining all the points of the production chain to the lifecycle of consumption. We are also, of course, engaging our consumers to take on this responsibility alongside us and generating income and work opportunities for the local community,” explained Laura Pires, Sustainability Director at GPA.
According to Eugênio Júnior, Manager of Exclusive Brand Technical Development at GPA, the partnership reinforces the commitment of the Company’s Exclusive Brands area to expand its sustainable initiatives. “Novo de Novo is a pioneering reverse logistics project in large retail, and we have had excellent results in the paper chain. The partnership with Wecycle has enabled us to expand the initiative for the plastics segment, ensuring its reinsertion into the production chain and promoting a more correct disposal for this type of material.”