The Azulita Project promotes community health through plastic recycling, art, and educational programs in Guerrero, Mexico. We are working to create a replicable, sustainable business model that combats a massive environmental problem with incentivized economic solutions.
Azulita Project team members purchase plastic waste from local residents then clean, process, and compress the plastic. When they have processed and baled 10-15 tons of plastic, it is shipped and sold to a recycling facility near Guadalajara, Mexico.
The Azulita Project recycling program is successful due to its innovative, incentive-based model. Since the start of the project, local recycling participation has dramatically increased, and local plastic pollution has noticeably decreased as a result. Inspired by the effectiveness of deposits on glass bottles and the recycling value of aluminum cans, the Azulita Project created a privately subsidized plastic buy-back program that places value on post-consumer plastic. This encourages local residents to collect and recycle plastic waste rather than throw it away.
Currently, the plastic buy-back program and the facility operations cost more than the plastic sales can generate (meaning we operate at a financial loss). This necessitates a significant subsidy from private donors.
We are actively building partnerships with hotels and businesses that want to start recycling. Their donation of plastic would be a win-win situation that helps offset our costs because this would be plastic we do not have to purchase. Our goal is for 75% of the plastic we process to come from donations, which will allow us to continue purchasing plastic at a premium price (2.50 MXN/KG) from local residents.
In the meantime, the project is in need of financial support from outside donors. Your financial contribution to the Azulita Project would be greatly appreciated and will help defend our oceans from plastic pollution!