In December 2021, the project EntreAmigos, part of the Recicla San Pancho Initiative in Mexico, celebrated the accomplishment of handing out their first Circular Plastic Credits to waste pickers, a payment financed by PREVENT Waste Alliance.
Added to the Circular Action Hub Project Directory in late July 2021, Bahía Circular and Entreamigos have been promoting a network of plastic collection points in four towns in Nayarit State (San Pancho, Sayulita, Lo de Marcos, and Las Varas) since February last year, creating safer working conditions and a system of best practices for the collectors in the area.
« Together with BVRio, the Initiative started to create incentive-based payments (called circular plastic credits) for taking plastic out of our environment and designating it to recycling and upcycling centres. Now, after eight months of hard work, we were able to hand out safety boots, T-shirts and an economic bonus for 121 collectors of the network located in different towns that collected a total of 107 tons of plastic », said Alessa Araiza, Project Coordinator, Bahia Circular.
Eleno Ulloa, a leader of the Initiative, said that « the program is positive in the way it helps low-income people » focus on cleaning the streets « to have a better planet and live a little longer without garbage on the streets », he said. A waste picker said he feels « very happy to do this », because « for that the plastic has served me, to get my daughter to move forward. So, thank you very much for all your support. »
This program has created 140 recycling bins in the local town where residents can deposit their plastic, cardboard and glass waste. It is then collected, separated and sold to recycling centres nearby or repurposed to create new and innovative products.
Additionally, it creates environmental education and awareness campaigns in local schools to educate children and their parents on the importance of best environmentally sustainable practices. These campaigns also include town, beach and river clean-ups that involve the whole community. During these clean-ups, they deliver education on the impact of the waste in natural areas to residents and collect additional recycled material.