The Azulita Project promotes community health through youth programs, sustainable organic farming workshops, plastic recycling, art and education programs in Guerrero, Mexico by creating a replicable, sustainable business model that incentivizes environmental stewardship.
The Azulita recycling program actively removes up to 1 ton of plastic waste a day from the Los Llanos region. Prior to the Azulita Project, this waste would have been burned or tossed away, polluting local beaches and, ultimately, the ocean.
Azulita team members purchase plastic waste from local residents, clean the materials, and create bales of crushed plastic containers. When the Azulita plant has compacted between 10 to 15 tons of waste plastic—equivalent to a semi-truck load—the bundles are delivered to the city of Guadalajara where they are sold to a recycling facility. The proceeds from plastic sales are reinvested into the business, the community, and other Azulita initiatives.
Others have attempted to start recycling programs in the region but have failed for various reasons, including lack of local interest and sustained motivation by residents and visitors.
The Azulita Project recycling program is successful due to its innovative incentive-based model that has dramatically increased local recycling participation. Inspired by the effectiveness of deposits on glass bottles and the value of various metals, Azulita created a privately subsidized buy-back program that places value on post-consumer plastic and encourages residents to collect waste plastic and deliver it to the Azulita facility.