Peru has become the first country to implement PepsiCo Latin America’s Recycling with Purpose circular economy recycling programme, which was launched earlier this year.

“For the past ten years we have been actively involved in the recycling arena in Latin America and Recycling with Purpose incorporates the learnings acquired in this journey,” explained Luis Montoya, president of PepsiCo Latin America Beverages. “Nevertheless, we acknowledge that we can’t close the loop alone and, beyond the improvements we are making to our own food and beverage packaging, it is imperative that we engage the consumer to increase material collection and boost recycling rates through the inclusion of grassroots recyclers with Ciudad Saludable.”

The Recycling with Purpose platform features a consumer engagement programme, created in Costa Rica. Following PepsiCo’s partnership with Ecoins, consumers in Peru can now earn discounts on a variety of products and services, including PepsiCo brands, in exchange for the collection of recyclable materials like PET.

“As we lack recycling infrastructure in so many countries throughout the region, we need to involve consumers to make recycling sustainable,” said Karla Chavez, regional director, Ecoins. “Our partnership with PepsiCo, which goes beyond just funding to include knowledge sharing, will allow consumer education to truly reach the masses and make an impact with both short and long-term potential.”

PepsiCo’s recycling platform also encourages collaboration with grassroots recyclers. For example, PepsiCo Latin America has a long-standing partnership with Peruvian non-governmental recycling organisation Ciudad Saludable.

According to PepsiCo, since 2008 Ciudad Saludable has trained 3,162 grassroots recyclers and 210 public workers, reaching 22 municipalities with access to environmental management tools.

To help the organisation continue its work, PepsiCo’s nonprofit arm, The PepsiCo Foundation, is to give a $2 million grant to Ciudad Saludable to support the inclusion of 1,000 grassroots recyclers in recycling collection routes across eight countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru).

“We have had a longstanding relationship with PepsiCo because they are committed to inclusive recycling and have dedicated over a decade to working alongside us to find solutions,” said Paloma Roldan, executive director of Ciudad Saludable. “We have our work cut out for us and this grant from The PepsiCo Foundation will be vital to continue including grassroots recyclers as key actors of the recycling system and to move towards a circular economy in the region.”

By 2021, PepsiCo expects Recycling with Purpose to be operating in ten countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Guatemala and Jamaica.

PepsiCo estimates that in its first year of operation Ecoins will have 300,000 accounts and provide recycling awareness to nearly one million people in the region. In addition, the Ciudad Saludable grant is expected to allow at least 1,000 recyclers to be integrated into the circular economy model by 2021. The main aim of Recycling with Purpose is to collect 6,000 tonnes of recyclable materials per year across the region.